Monday, March 31, 2008


Over the weekend things warmed up and our time changed- one hour ahead. The boys had a marvelous time with their bikes- it had been a couple of months. And Erik did much better on open spaces in the park. David Augenijus is still preferring to push on the ground with his feet and honestly it is probably faster that way that pedalling. He has amazing ability to figure things like that out biomechanically- how to position your body to accomplish things! Makes me wonder what he will do on a bike- or heaven forbid on a skateboard some day.

Erik likes to climb things and he taught his brother to climb a sand pile. And they both have an inescapable urge to collect sticks and to use them as leashes to "walk their dogs".

Sunday Gregg preached again in Silute and we returned home to meet with people from the church who were in Klaipeda this week. Each week we try to meet with someone of the church, if we are not hosting speakers from further away. Many times this also means going out to eat. The boys really like that.

Gregg has a full day at work preparing a math exam and having a review session as well as meeting with 3 different students as a mentor. Then we come home (I will go to pick up Erik and Gregg) and he will take David Augenijus to music lessons.

Before that I will have a ENT doctor appt. since I don't seem to fully get over my cold. The rheumatologist I saw last week did not find a reason exactly or definitive diagnosis for joint pain (much increased in my hands the last couple months) but said if there is an ongoing throat infection or tonsilitis that may be causing it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

getting back on track

Erik did return to preschool on Thursday and even though he coughs occasionally the teacher is not concerned about that. Erik was not so excited about heading back though. He does ok, but when we pick him up I can tell that it has been stressful in the way he behaves and it takes a while for him to settle and feel ok.

Tonight we had a little guest- Ieva Stave. She came with portable crib. The boys have enjoyed playing with her and her cat in the past and they did well together here too.

We parents have had a little adjustment to our perspectives and are a bit more at peace about the ongoing challenges.

And we've discovered the best way to help Augenijus with his thumb that still needs to heal is to tape mittens on both hands- taping them to the pjs! Not so many worries now, though he still wakes up some in the middle of the night and needs a bit of help settling.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today Erik stayed home from "darzelis" preschool.
He has had a cough as part of a cold for a few days and so we figure it is best to keep him in. He may be ok for going tomorrow, we'll see.

David Augenijus increases his repetoire of things to keep him awake at night on an ongoing basis. Mama and tetis find it a bit exasperating. He has a cold too but so far it was not as noticable as Erik's. In the last few days he is getting on to saying- "mano mama" my mama. This sometimes raised a question or objection from Erik.

Gregg is feeling the strain of being the one who can really get the boys to cooperate. They play around and make everything into a joke with mama, each of them outdoing the other till mama can not keep up. (and they are only 3 and 4 years old!) Pray for me! It is not always out of hand, but since Gregg gets a response it is really irritating to him when I cannot keep the behavior in line. The boys make more noise around him when I am here. And they often act like mama's boys- not wanting to do things with tetis if mama is around. Naturally Gregg points to the reality that with him they must behave.

I have not seem myself as a push over so this all is a bit stressful to handle for me emotionally.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I love mama

It was a nice Easter time gift to spontaneously hear those I love mama words from Erik the other day.

We had Albanian students as our guests for Easter meal at 5pm. The earlier part of the day we were in Silute where Gregg facilitated the service- first time on and Easter Sunday. I was with the boys and a couple of older ones in a back room.

We also had Barry Freed with us the last couple of days. A nice chance to catch up and for him spend Easter with a family!

We still keep the precious thumb under cover much of the time as it heals. It looks like the sleep habits will take a while to reform too.

But we are thankful for a Joyful Easter. The boys enjoyed watching their grass grow for the last 2 weeks and at the same time they enjoy watching the snow outside and playing in it some for the last few days!

Friday, March 21, 2008

good signs

Today I met the speech therapist who will work with Erik because I needed to fill out a request form that allows her to work with him. She assured me that his challenges can be addressed. She also assured me that if David Augenijus starts in the fall that she will work with him too and things should be fine.

We are on the potty training theme lately, and more intensively now that we can give more undivided attention during the day. Gregg was home this morning and went through a good bit of laundry so we are not there yet. But, earlier in the morning it was kind of cute that the boys wanted to be without clothes for a while, and that seemed to help increase the awareness of getting to the potty. And he does like to handle it by himself- if he can get there in time.

I was in communication by email with a speech therapist who was able to send resources to help me assess where we are in speech development. It appears that both boys are a bit behind but not hugely and in ways that should be able to be improved with time and good stimulus.

We are still working hard on the thumb sucking issue because of the blisters, but last night was the first night in a week that I was not up for a few hours dealing with it- Hey! I feel much different in the morning having been able to sleep. (and all mothers of infants say Amen)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Today was time for the speech therapy evaluation for David Augenijus. From my past therapy experience in the states I had very different expectations for what happens than what I experienced. Honestly I came away depressed. Here is why.

The therapist treated us with very little human regard. She had a guest in the room who she told to make tea and cookies (for herself). She asked him to say his name and when he could not, that was the end of her evaluation of him directly. She asked me questions about his background and what he can or cannot do. Filled out the form and said we will reevaluate in a year. She also saw that he brought a car with him. From that she assumed that we need to be told to do games and reading with him, he should not just play with cars.

Among the questions were, what kind of genes does he have, how long did you get to know him before adopting, did you like him? Does he talk in 2 word phrases? sentences? Does he understand what you say? What language are you speaking- and of course when I said both Lithuanian and English she shook her head as if to say- well what do you expect.

She quickly demonstrated how to use lotto cards and dominos to talk with him and he showed genuine interest, but she did not involve him at all.

And then she said we will re-evaluate in a year.

I asked if there are certain things in speech I should be concerned for, what sounds should he be able to pronounce at this age. She said don't be concerned about pronounciation, we deal with that at age 4. At age 3 he needs to be talking in sentences so just work on that.

In other news, the thumb we have been concerned about is still taking a lot of attention including throughout the night. It is not available to put him back to sleep whenever he wakes up. The one blister has broken so that area is no longer black but there is another that still reminds us we need to really work on keeping his thumb out. If we really persevere maybe this will be the time for breaking the habit. Or breaking mama's determination- whichever comes first.

Erik is sleeping after lunch at the preschool and doing better with that now.

It feels like Easter is creeping up on us quite fast. We will know it is here on Sunday- and for the next 2 days (monday and Tuesday) off of work for most everyone here too.

Friday, March 14, 2008

a little scare

Last night before bed David Augenijus complained of his thumb hurting. Sure enough there was a big blister on it. He sucks this thumb for sleeping and many other reasons so at first I thought it was his usual complaints about that thumb.

But we needed to protect it and so we used a bandaid and a mitten and fixed it in place. I rocked him to sleep eventually and he was tired enough that that lasted for about 6 hours. Then he was up and picking at the wrapping. After 90 minutes of trying everything I could think of, I let him go with the thumb.

But by morning it had two black looking blisters! So off to the doctor. Seems it is blood blisters from the sucking. So we are back to tackling the formidable thumb sucking (psychological security issues around the clock).
It is a little tough because he is not really ready to fully trust me or to take comfort from me on an ongoing basis. We still have some of the attachment issues to work with and this is yet another evidence. Probably some males out there reading this will say it is just the male thing- ok not to need mommy. Who knows. There are certainly other times of day he is happy to demand help.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Today (and yesterday) we are off for another independence holiday. (That makes this coming Saturday a work day in LT) But 4 day weekends are good for eventually getting caught up and rest- which Gregg definitely needed today.

We were in Kaunas yesterday for a yearly conference of the Free Christian church. The churches of 6 cities gather for teaching and fellowship. There was a good room for the children and activities for older children. So we took the boys.

It was the longest trip they have had by car. And not the easiest, but it worked. We had a LCC student along with us as a caregiver designated for our boys, but it was good there were other caregivers too for most of the time. The boys enjoyed different toys and different kids to play with.

On Saturday we celebrated David Augenijus' birthday as a family and invited Steve and Betsy Dintaman to join in.

Today we are giving the rest of the cards we got in the mail- sorry we are a little behind here. And the soft stuffed ball my mother sent which is similar to the stuffed football in an earlier picture. When this ball was opened today, Erik said- you have a ball and I have an egg!

This birthday was more stretching for Erik (tends to be more jealous) and we did give him new things too. It was time for both to have new toothbrushes and boy was that a celebration, jumping around and wanting to carry them around with the new toys, not to mentioned renewed enthusiasm for brushing teeth.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Interesting sign

Today I gave Erik an envelope my sister sent with pictures of their children. Our boys have seen their pictures in our picture book of family which we made after the visit to the US last summer.

I mentioned that these children live in America, yes it is far away. He remembered we talked about the other pictures from the picture book as being in America. So he asked where was I when you went there? Was I here alone? Where was Augenijus?

Well, they were with their group. But at least for the current time he was no longer associating the group as where he belonged. He belonged with mama and Tetis- so where was he? why was he not in America with us!

Late afternoon, early evening we took a walk around town and to newer areas they had not been with me before. In the old town they finally spoke up they wanted to go to a restaurant and so I said we could find one further on the way to get juice. It probably would have been easier had I stuck to that plan, but once we got there I also ordered crepes with fillings for them from the children's menu (nothing for myself, since I usually end up cleaning up their plates.

They both wanted/needed to sit on mama's lap. It was easier to help them that way anyway. But it took longer than their attention span for listening/obeying mama. Getting out of there was not without a noticeable scene. But, it was progress in that a month ago I would have never dared to do it by myself. They are gradually listening more and can be reasoned with more than before.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Erik began preschool this week. After a strong start on Monday and Tuesday, he was much less willing to go today so we are back to half days for the next while. His biggest issue with going is the required nap time. Local custom in all preschools (and orphanages too) is nap from 1-3 pm. (actually they start as early as 12:30 and let them sleep until 3:15)And they must lay and must be quiet and may not read. We had tried to keep rest times but usually allowed books, now we need to change that habit so he can adjust for a full day later on.

I can better understand now why Lithuanian children are often up later than I am accustomed to in the states.

David is talking a little more each week and is missing his brother when he is away. We are making some small steps in toilet learning, but other things are much more interesting to him. Especially anything to do with water. He really does play well by himself too. But it was also fun and productive to have a little more focused one on one time with him.

Monday, March 3, 2008

good news

Erik did well enough in a half day today that he probably will do fine with full days the daycare teacher said. (Some of our friends spend a week or more with half days, and in some cases mama needs to stay along with them for a while) I thought at first that I may need to stay today, but eventually Erik came out of the corner where he was hiding and allowed me to help get him changed and ready to join his new preschool group. And after watching for a while, he saw some things he wanted to explore and off he went. Apparently he never asked for me after that. But he did come running when I came at midday.

Gregg did well enough of Sunday at the meeting that he has gotten himself a new job- temporary we hope. He is now going to be listed as the leader of the Silute church for official purposes. (The pastor we have mentioned before has moved to serve in Klaipeda). And a new church council was selected and we both were asked to serve. In the future as things stabilize after recent changes we hope that only one of us will be needed on the council. But we also need to pray for this. Small town churches in Lithuania are usually quite small and people are regularly leaving for larger cities or even getting out of the country when they can.

And I had a yearly followup with a doctor today which has been the case since a surgery I had a few years ago here. And things look ok.

I called the doctor's office about Erik's bruised face today since he still protects it. I was advised to bring him on Wednesday if it is still hurting him. It is not so swollen but since he protects it and worries if I want to touch his face, it may be best to get it checked. I read on the internet that a fracture in that area needs to be treated before 2 weeks go by.

Now Gregg just needs to catch up on some of his introverted time and we will be doing ok.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Today was the day to invite little friends to celebrate the boys' birthdays. Most of the friends we had today were girls closer to David Augenijus in age. And so they also more naturally did more independent play rather than things together. But they got along reasonably well. And we can still say we enjoyed it after it was over.
For those of Sharon's family for whom birthday pictures are not complete without pictures of the cake, sometime we will get you access to video, but that is not as easy to get onto the blog.

Tomorrow will be a big day for Gregg especially as he leads a church members meeting with a translator.

Then Monday is the big day for starting Erik in preschool. And then we will be glad for the boys automatic internal clock that gets them up by 7am, but often before that.