You probably think we’ve died…

We've been SO busy…surprise surprise!  

Sorry we haven't updated you all lately.  Here's some pictures of our recent days.  Things are going real well with the boys and the whole family.  We've had a few discipline challenges at church with Micah.  He sees an opportunity to test boundaries with new people.  And might I add that these are new people who are aghast at the idea of disciplining a child with Down syndrome.  One of the workers said that she just couldn't spank Micah's hand or talk to him in an "angry russian" voice because he's so cute.  Hello!  Spitting in someone's face is not cute.  Ugh.
So this week, I popped in on him in class.  And guess what?  The glasses that he never touches and always insists on having on his face at home were off his face and they said every time they put them on him, he pulled them off and they were afraid he would break them so they just left them off.  Uhhhh…no.  So I grabbed him and the glasses and took him into the hall and told him in no uncertain terms that he would wear his glasses and he would not touch them again.  (He knows that both Mary and I mean business when we tell him to do something or not to do something).  And he had been spitting again.  The teacher ended up making a game out of time out so of course he kept doing it to keep the game going.  Argh.  I told them when he spits to  put him with force into a time out position so he knew that it was not a game and to speak to him in a sharp, low tone.  One of the tips in the Connected Child book which works great.  Then he knows it's not a game.  And I told them do anything but smile at him.  Yikes! Talk about gasoline on a raging fire!
So I talked to the teacher later in the day and after I went in there and told him how it would be, he was fine and on best behavior.  That was for another 2 hours!  So HE CAN DO IT!  
Sunday night, he was in a new room, with new teachers.  Mary went and checked on him near the beginning of the class and he was going crazy.  She pulled him out of the class, explained to him how it would be and took him back and re-instructed the teachers.  He was great for a while.  Then a whole bunch more kids showed up.  A sure way to set him off.  I thought I better check on him during the service and I walked up to the room only to see him on top of the table dancing and shaking his finger at his teacher.  Uh…that's not the way Malone children behave.  I just came right in the room (without knocking which the teachers don't like much) and since his back was to the door, he didn't see me (which definitely worked to my advantage).  I said in my angry russian voice, "WHAT are you doing?!"  He stopped dancing, sat down.  Not only had I snuck up on him and scared him with my voice, he was caught by papa.  He KNEW that he was doing wrong.  He KNEW that there would be discipline so he immediately started crying (his real loud high pitched baby cry…which is another story altogether).  I took him down the hall and we had talk and he sat in time out in a corner.  Then he got up and we hugged and kissed and he was all fine again.  There was another hour that he was in there and when we came back he had behaved like a gentleman the rest of the time.  So he may have Down syndrome, but he is apparently high functioning and has great understanding.  So there will be no excuses for that boy.  🙂
Okay…here's something else weird that happened Sunday night.  We went to pick him up and the teacher said that they had gone to the play room and he was sitting on a padded block and when he stood up he pointed to his leg and sat down and started crying and wouldn't walk on it (he's a good walker and generally likes to walk).  So when we picked him up, we put him down to walk (because we have 1 not so good walker meaning he won't stay with the pack and a non walker).  He walked about 10 feet and then drew up his leg and pointed at his knee and started crying and sat down.  He was crying real tears.  So I was concerned something was broken or torn so I poked around a little bit.  Nothing.  I flexed it. Nothing.  So i put pressure on it from the bottom of his foot.  Nothing.   Hmmmm….  So I started thinking that maybe he was faking it.  The teacher came up and said he wasn't jumping or playing….just sitting before it happened so I thought again…this little squirrel is faking!  But then I got him up and the same thing happened a few steps later.  He was crying REAL tears.  So again I worked it over and no response.  In fact, he laughed hard and loud because it tickled.  This went on every few steps and people were all huddled around every time we stopped.  So we got out of the building and it was just me and him (Mary had stopped to talk to someone) and he was fine and we walked to van, he climbed in the van and jumped up in his seat (which is no easy task because we have a 12 passenger van that's high off the ground).  I purposely did not help him because I wanted to see how he would react to the use of his leg.  No reaction.  Everyone got in the van and we drove home.  He sat indian style all the way home (wouldn't that hurt if you injured your knee?).  We got home and as the other kids exited he was still in his seat and he pointed at his knee and started crying real tears again and pointed at them and then his knee.  I told them to ignore him and not react.  So he stopped crying, jumped out of his car seat, jumped out of the van and ran in the house.  I looked at Mary and was like, "What just happened?"  We couldn't believe it.  That little guy had been faking it.  Not only had he faked it, but he knew I knew he was faking and so he didn't try to get a reaction from me when it was just him and me.  So…is he smart or what???  Wow!  Funny and a little bit scary that he could be so convincing.  And Eli fake cries sometimes, but Micah can turn on tears too.  
Anyway…things are going great at home, better at church and will keep improving.  Matthew is doing so well.  He wants to walk so bad.  We had him fitted for Sure Steps today so we'll have those in a few weeks and if he's not walking by then, they will really help him.  His ankles roll even worse than Eli's did before he wore the sure steps to build up the muscles.  He is just as sweet as Micah is but he's not quite as forward about showing it.  He has not thrown a fit at the table in a long time which is a huge blessing!  He is so precious and so flexible and fits right in to what we're doing.  Micah does too for the most part.
We are SO BLESSED and are head over heals in love with these guys and our 5 other kids too!  God is SO GOOD to allow these 7 angels in our lives.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.