Where did the time go??? BGA turned 11 yesterday.
I remember when she came home, at 6 yrs old. She was scared, she didn't trust anyone, she wanted to be in control, she had so many emotions.
This year I have seen her grow a bit. She started a new school, and had to leave her friends behind, the friends she developed, good or bad, over the last 4 yrs. She didn't want to do it. She found a friend at the new school and for some reason this year some of her confidence began to show. She is taking violin lessons and she is Seargant At Arms on the class council (she helps at awards assemblies and carries the flag during assemblies, complete with a class council t'shirt that she's very proud of). She is wanting to be part of more activites at school. She has the confidence to lead (she's always wanted to be the leader but would shy away from anything that was performance related). Her school work has slipped, but we are allowing for that and trying to get her back on track.
I have seen her give in a bit more to her sister as well. She used to not give in and there would be fights that would break out between the two sisters. Now I see her give in more and I see a more compassionate side to her.
We celebrated her birthday yesterday by going to her favorite buffet style restaurant, and then coming back for presents and cake. She is getting out of the more toy style of presents and more into the 'tween/teen' presents. I am sad to see the toy part go (ie Barbies) but looking forward to buying more teen styles and shopping with her, as that was something my mother and I always enjoyed. I gave her the first pair of tiny gold hoops and she loved them. Wanted to wear them to school, but had to say no on that one. I told her she can wear them next week when there is no school.
I am enjoying more conversations with her also on the ride back from school to home. She shares her days with me, which is a plus. In her other school she would just tell me her day was 'ok' and that would be it. I'm encouraging her to share more with me, actually both girls are doing it. I am so glad LGA is doing it. It is creating less tantrums after school, although there are still some fits/tantrums there if she's had a bad day. She keeps it all in, then lets it all out at home where she feels safe to do so. Some days it's hard, as I have to brace myself for it. But as the girls are getting older, I am seeing more sharing, more older kid stuff rather than younger kid toys, behaviors, etc. LGA still, due to her issues, has some younger than her age behavior, but I am seeing some more 8 yr old behavior coming in, and I have to say, I am enjoying this stage more than the younger behaviors. I know this is a lull, though, when the teen years hit, it will all disappear. But at this time in my life, I am enjoying this time with them and they are comforting me (and frustrating me at times, as well, as all kids do).
I am proud of where BGA has come from and how much growth she has had in the last 4 1/2 years. We had a pretty stress free birthday, and she did very well, behaviorwise. There weren't any fits or pouts at all. That's a good birthday for us. She is a totally different kid then the one who came to live with us. That's not to say she doesn't have her own issues but there is growth and that is important.
I am looking forward to the girls being off a week from school next week, and I think there will be some crafts and movies (it's supposed to rain all week) in our week off. We added our 4th dog, another Cavalier, (who will be our therapy dog, hopefully, once I get her trained) in Oct. A young 1 1/2 yr old very small (for a Cavalier) dog. We had to drive two hours to get her in the foothillls. There were pine cones that we brought home (left in the garage in case any bugs were on them) so hoping to do the glue and glitter craft with the girls so we can put them on the mantel this year. I brought a few of my mother's Christmas decorations back with me (I have very few, other than tree and ornaments as I never really was able to afford to buy any decorations each year) so am looking forward to decorating a bit this year. The girls have their own small Christmas trees to put in their rooms, so I just have to find some lights to put on them and they will be (courtesy of Target's $1 decorations, that I don't care if they get broken) able to decorate their own bedroom trees this year. We will see how that goes, but I'm going to let them do it.
One thing I learned this week...........if you use Melatonin as a sleep aide for your child, not to go down a dose. Poor LGA has not been able to sleep, was up 2 1/2 hours PAST her bedtime, talking loud, getting up out of her bed, etc. It was a nightmare, she was tired and cranky and acting out and we were wishing she'd go to sleep as we needed her to be in bed by the time she went to bed. Her teacher noticed and had a chat with me on Tuesday about her excessive talking. She was napping on the bus, so once she gets a nap she would not go to sleep easily. We finally got a 1mg pill to add to make her regular dose and she was asleep about 40 mins past her bedtime, but I allowed for that as it was BGA's birthday. I hope that means we are back to our regularly scheduled bedtime. Wow. We have enough issues with her waking a couple of times a night, we do not need the issue of getting her to sleep as well. Now I wish she would sleep in, at least as she sometimes can, till 7. Getting up at the crack of dawn at 6 is not fun.
Hope you are all enjoying the week before Thanksgiving. It was fun having BGA's bday this week. I still need to go food shopping and I'm not looking forward to that. I hate grocery shopping, the picking of the items, putting them on the conveyer, loading and unloading and putting away. If I time it right I usually have Dave to help me. We will see how that goes. Glad to have two little helpers though, they bring in the bags too which helps. I just have to make sure I don't give them anything that can get damaged, eggs, sparkling water, that someone thinks is fun to shake up so when you open the bottle it sprays everywhere. I'm not speaking from personal experience, no.........