Monday, December 12, 2011

Learning to say goodbye to the control freak

So tonight we planned to .....

 take the girls to see Santa (which Mia has been desperate to do)

look at some lights

 eat dinner out

well the reality of my life is things never go as planned

so instead ....

the line was Soooo long Santa was skipped

as we got a late start everyone was hungry and grumpy so the lights were skipped

 dinner did happen, but not where I had planned

 boys home to do homework

shopping for me at Walmart for Ben's school project and Ethan's play

 girls already in bed when I got home

as you can see someone else was a little upset about our change of plans and not seeing Santa

As a bit of a control freak, learning to go with the flow and be flexible and not get grumpy when the plans that I have meticulously created in my head do not happen is still something I am working on.

(I know you are all thinking - isn't she supposed to be the mom and a good example to her kids)

Although I have to say I managed to not throw any childish tantrums, or state more than once that tonight wasn't quite the Christmassie family night I had planned - which is actually progress when I recall some of my other (not so proud of) moments.

The reality is we were together. We smiled, laughed, argued a little, maybe even annoyed one another a little - but we were family, together, growing - so who cares if our night wasn't the "perfect greeting card" evening - I am totally satisfied, and loved my not so "perfect" Christmas night.

Disclaimer : this is huge for me - if Chris reads this he will be using it against me the next time things don't go to plan (which will probably be tomorrow)!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

So I turned the BIG 40 - last September

I have wanted a DSLR for a very long time

 I have dreamt about them, drooled over pictures of them, and looked on enviously as friends take beautiful pictures of their children with them.

So it was decided by my hubby that I needed to spoil myself for my birthday and get a camera.

But they are not cheap (the reason I haven't bought one yet), and for those of you who know me, I like a bargain, I shop clearance, pick a restaurant by the coupon I have, and NEVER buy anything unless it is on sale.

 So it has taken me the last 2 months to finally do it - of coarse it took a sale, a bundle deal, and the ability to split payments over a few months, but I am SOOOOO excited !!!

So when the UPS man rang the doorbell today, I felt like my kids on Christmas morning

I have no idea what to do with it - my biggest hope is to get pictures of my kids, especially lily that aren't blurred, and aren't of the back of their heads

Oh and the beautiful camera strap is a birthday gift from my amazing friend Adeye - who had faith that I would take the plunge - that strap has been looking at me for the last 2 months saying - GO FOR IT :)!!!

Watch out kids - momma's got a new toy !!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cheerleading and Fencing oh my.....

Love seeing my kids having fun

What is it about boys and swords?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Good

Lily enjoying her first freshly baked chocolate chip cookie

I think she liked it!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


When Lily first came home with us from China she HATED water!!

At first we thought this was just a normal reaction - most adopted children from China have never been bathed in water, just wiped off with water.  So sometimes it takes a couple of baths to get them used to it.

Well not Lily!!

For 12 months she has cried and covered her face through every bath, we didn't even attempt for the first 2 months to put her in water after the terrifying shrills she let out the first few times.  We then just decided we would keep trying, we would have her in and out in 2 minutes - but the girl had to get clean - especially during Summer - wow can she sweat.

We couldn't even carry her into the bathroom without her crying

She wouldn't go near a pool this Summer

It quickly became obvious this wasn't normal adjustment, something had happened to our sweet girl involving water, something that made her SO terrified of it, that something we would never know.

Then gradually it happened - she started crawling into the bathroom

She started just whimpering during her baths not screaming

and then suddenly after 15 months

we got this

and this

and this

the miracle of adoption, the restoration of a life, a child that was fatherless is no longer - the healing that takes place when love abounds is astounding - no wonder God commands us to take care of the orphan to be a father to the fatherless.


(note : we have an old house with old grout - it's clean just doesn't get white anymore :)  )

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lily's Journey to a Stronger Heart - 11

It has been a while since I updated on Lily's medical progress, but to be honest she has been kinda moving on cruise control - doing so well and staying so healthy their hasn't been too much to say!!!

We went to CHOP for another appointment last week, to see Lily's cardiologist. It was a long day - we left our house at 3:30am and got back at 8pm. The main purpose of this visit was to make sure she was doing ok on her medication, and to discuss when we should do the cardiac catherization again - this of coarse is the million dollar question, the answer to which can not help but bring a little sick feeling to the pit of my stomach.

The purpose of the cath is to determine if her pulmonary hypertension has decreased enough so that she can get cardiac surgery, you can read about that here

The cardiologist was very pleased with how healthy Lily looked. How full of energy she was, and how much she had grown. Her oxygen sats are holding in the mid 80's which is great. Her EKG didn't show any deteriation in her heart.

All of this we already knew - you only have to look at her to know she is doing great - with the complicated heart defect she has, this in itself is a miracle.

She laughs and smiles all the time

She is going to pre K and loving it, there are 3 students and 2 teachers that are wonderful, plus OT, PT, and speech - God could not have blessed us more with a better situation for her to be able to develop.

So the discussion was - when to cath. There are two things to look at

One - not wanting to wait too long, because living with her defect can make the pulmonary hypertension worse - that is why she has it.

Two - we want to give the medicine she is on to treat the hypertension the optimal chance to work.

There is no way to definitively know the answer, we just had to look at the facts and make the best decision - well our cardiologist had to, and we had to agree.

So it was decided we would cath in Janurary - this will give her a year on the medicine, and six months on the higher dose.

We felt at peace about this, and agreed this was the right decision.

So what is it that brings that sick feeling?

It's the knowing !!

Either way it will be a big deal. If she can't get surgery then we are not sure what the next step will be. If she can get surgery then as much as I want her to have it - we are talking MAJOR cardiac surgery - with all the risks.

She is doing SO good right now, SO happy, loving life, we are all enjoying her so much - I am not sure if I am ready for the next step.

I know God has it, I know He has Lily, and I know He has us - holding on tight to all His promises, and placing my girl in His hands.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ethan turns 11

How can my baby boy be 11??? Ethan brings so much laughter and joy to our family. He is a clown, he makes us laugh every day with the crazy things that he says. He is compassionate and cares about others. He is social and wants to be with his friends all the time. He is active and adventurous, does things his way not always the "proper" way.

He has broken his arm twice and had stitches twice, so you may think this is a crazy idea for a birthday present, but it is something he has wanted for a long time. You can't wrap them up in cotton balls and protect them from everything - you've got to let them live and then say an extra prayer (or close your eyes and not look).

We will be getting a net

There are already plans to add water next summer (eyes closed tight - ER on speed dial)

My men

He finished the burger and got his picture on the wall

Wow - and grew a mustache???

We love you Ethan and thank God for you everyday, we are so proud of you and can't wait to see all that you are going to do with your life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to school (Mia starts kindergarten)

Backpacks ready the night before

Benjamin leaves first - he is in 7th grade and although I did still go with him to the bus stop (something that is only permitted on the first day of school or in yucky weather when he wants a ride in the car - like today) there were no pictures and hugs allowed.

Next it was Ethan and Mia's turn

and of coarse today was a BIG day for Mia - Kindergarten

it always seems to rain on the first day of school

she has been so excited about today, and has never mentioned once not wanting to go

it all happened so fast - no time for tears (for momma)

and off we go

of coarse there is always time for a quick photo op

her sweet brother, who is in 5th grade and now gets to sit at the back of the bus - rode to and from school at the front with the kindergartners so that Mia could sit with him.

Lastly it was back to the house to get Lily ready and off to her preschool class, where she will now be going four mornings a week.  She will get all her therapies there, today I stayed with her, but she did great.  There are only 3 students in the class and 2 teachers so lots of one on one attention for miss Lily.

I tried to get a few pictures to remember the day - but this girl is on the move

forget posing

off I go

When they all came home - the reports were good.

Benjamin - "it was good", "yes, they were fine" - man can't the boy give his momma more than that.

Ethan was full of information and couldn't stop telling me about his day - how can 2 boys be SO different??

Mia said she loved school, that some of the children had to go to time out for talking but she did everything the teacher said :).
She did tell me when I was putting her to bed that she felt a little bit nervous today. When I asked her when, she said, "when I was getting dressed this morning, and when I was trying to make friends" ahhh man my heart could break, those tender moments when your children are clearly sharing something important with you are priceless. She had shown no outward sign of being nervous, but clearly there was more going on inside - I am so glade she shared with me. Praying that she makes friends quickly and easily and that her speech is not a hindrance, I know it is something that she is conscious about especially when other children have a hard time understanding her.
This girl has come so far and I am so proud of her - there are not words to express how much I love her

how much I love all my children - and how proud I am to be thier momma.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Momma, I'm going to love Kindergarten

Today Mia had Kindergarten orientation

Yes - they still have to bring a mat (Mia hasn't napped for 2 years)

She has been waiting for this day for a year - she wanted to go "so badly" last year

Her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs Miles, is the same teacher Ethan had - she's great.

When we left, Mia said, "Momma, I'm going to like Kindergarten"

I am going to miss this girl like crazy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

HELP - we've been burgled

at least our kitchen has been ransacked

someone must have been hungry

who would do such a thing???????

caught red handed

where do you think you're going

you can run, but you can't hide

who could be angry at that face - I guess I need to shop for safety latches today :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In need of your help

Coming together to help a precious little girl in a desperate situation - meet Liliana (not her real name)

She is elevens years old - Yes ELEVEN - due to neglect in an orphanage she has waisted away.  She weighs just 10 lbs.  She is in desperate need of immediate adoption.  People are coming together to raise the $22,000 needed, so that the family that steps forward to adopt her will not have to worry about the money.

The fund raising just started today and it is already at $12,000

You can go here to read more and to donate, Adeye is offering some fantastic drawings, that those who donate are eligable for.

Sometimes we wonder how we (little old me) can make a difference - this is how, when the little bit we have is combined with the little bit many others have - then a life can be changed forever.