Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Portrait Day

Here's a sampling of some beautiful photos of my beautiful children! There are just so many great shots to choose from that I don't even know where to start! Dan Binkley (Athens, Alabama) did an amazing job! The kids were pretty good that morning but they didn't always want to cooperate. Imagine that! ;) He was so patient and calm with them (and me); it just seemed so effortless.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My day of rest

I woke up this morning to homemade French toast, prepared by my hubby. Billy then got all the kids ready and he took them ALL to a local car show. They then went to our FCC's Kite Day. There wasn't enough wind to fly kites but they had a great time on the playground. What did I do all this time? NOTHING!! I flipped channels on the TV and then took a nap! They were gone a good 4 hours! And then, he did what I cannot do. He got every one of them to take a nap! What a great day! Thank you, Sweetheart!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Look at this cutie-pie!

Billy's dad must have been playing around with his scanner because he sent this to me yesterday out of the blue.

Sort of reminds me of this little one...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day on the farm

Yesterday the kids' preschool took a trip to a local farm. It was a warm spring day, and the boys kept complaining about how hot they were. They're really going to suffer come July. Then they would complain about how hungry or thirsty they were. Great fun! None of my children are real animal lovers although I think they did enjoy the day overall. I'll remember not to come along next time; I'll just send them to Nannie & PawPaw's if they want to see cows and horses!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rebecca--health update

Rebecca saw a WONDERFUL pediatric neurologist (Dr. Kimberly Limbo in Huntsville) yesterday. When she examined Rebecca, she noted that she had increased tone in her left leg. She also noticed her wide-based gait and that she doesn't pick up her left foot as well as her right. (Rebecca's walking and running has improved so much since we have had her, we hadn't thought much about it anymore.) Anyway, the doctor felt that there is a possibility that Rebecca may have had a small embolic stroke when she was younger (facilitated by the large ASD that she had). She said she likely had a complex partial seizure on Saturday. The EEG was normal, but that is not unusual since it only shows a 30-minute window of her brain activity. She said that people with known epilepsy will have a normal EEG 30-50 % of the time. So, really no info can be gleaned from that unless it is abnormal. She did not place Rebecca on medication, but did state that she would have a very low threshold for doing so should Rebecca have another seizure. She has an MRI scheduled for May 12th.
The stroke hypothesis has just resonated with me since the doctor suggested it. It would explain so much of the puzzle with Rebecca. She is making huge developmental gains now, but in an orphanage environment, any additional problem, albeit small, could have had a compounding effect on her development.
Thank you all for your prayers and concern.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bittersweet day

Saturday morning, the day of the big birthday party, Rebecca had a seizure (to our knowledge, her first). That was the scariest thing that Billy and I have had to endure as parents, so far. My mom came over to stay with the other kids while we took her to the Pediatric ER. Her brain CT and electrolytes were normal, so she was discharged to follow up with a pediatric neurologist. She was so lethargic and nauseated after the seizure for several hours. On the way home, after she chugged down a Sprite, we stopped to pick up the birthday cake. She vomited on herself and Billy's truck seat while Billy was in the store. (Since I just remembered that little detail, I just told Billy to go and check on that because we didn't have time to clean the upholstery after we got home Saturday. Yuck! I bet it is stinking by now!) The neurologist called us at home soon after we got back and scheduled a visit and an EEG for Monday. She will also have to have an MRI, but I'm not sure yet when that will be scheduled. We just pray, pray, pray that all will be O.K.! My mind keeps going through all the worst-case scenarios! It's after 9:30 pm now and she is still up. We're keeping her up late because her brain is supposed to be irritable for the EEG. With my hormones and her sleep deprivation, we should be a pair tomorrow! (I have my wonderful SIL to babysit my other three kiddos.)

She started feeling much better and was able to eat a late lunch. She was then back to her old self just in time for the party! Including us, there were 77 people in attendance. There were kids everywhere! We had family, friends from our old church, friends (and parents) from Rebecca's Sunday school class, and friends from our FCC group. Rebecca was soaking up every moment; she loved all the attention! It was so awesome to watch her experience her very first birthday party ever, and she carried herself through it like an old pro!

She got so many sweet gifts and her eyes lit up at every one of them. She has had a busy day today trying to get in play time with all of them. Between services today, she clomped around in some fancy dress-up heels and a tiara all afternoon. I think there are now batteries in all the new electronic devices. I don't know which is harder-- getting all the batteries installed, or just opening all those crazy boxes where each individual piece is impossibly attached by wires that no scissors can cut.

It took her 3-4 blows, but they all finally went out!


The moment she's waited for all day!

A new sleeping bag from Mema & Granddaddy

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!!

Our sweet girl is now 7 years old! She had a big day today. We went this morning to the doctor for her check-up (30+ minute drive) only to find out that the doctor and staff had a scheduling mishap, and the doctor was off today! We had to reschedule. Rebecca also lost one of her earrings yesterday in the yard, so we went back to the jewelry store to have that ear repierced. She also got to go to the salon for a birthday haircut. This was the first time she has had her hair shampooed in the bowl, and she thought that was a hoot! Nannie brought her presents today: a kid-tough camera (I think she's up to 160 shots of people's feet, the wall, the stairwell, all those interesting shots), and a Barbie pilot case. Instead of cooking dinner, I loaded up all the kids and we went through the Burger King drive-thru for Kids' Meals. (I'm a great mom, aren't I?) Daddy then came home and surprised her with flowers and balloons!

Stay tuned for the birthday party tomorrow!

Billy has been working on the girls' present this week (Vivian's birthday is May 6th so this is for both of them). I'll get a shot of the finished product tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What a milestone day!

What's almost as good as getting your ears pierced? Losing your first tooth! And, all in the same day!!

Mei Xiao Mei spent the first 6 1/2 years of her life reaching a few milestones and missing some. I doubt there was anyone cheering her on when she first crawled or walked. We missed those precious moments with her, but we have got to see firsthand her transformation into a little girl. We've shared many milestones with her in these 7 months such as pedaling a bicycle and swinging for the first time. It's been more than just marking things off a list because we have seen the world through her eyes as we watched her experience each new thing. And, believe me, everything has been new!! Friday is her 7th birthday, and Saturday she will celebrate her very first birthday with a big party!

Bling it on!

This is something Rebecca has wanted since she first discovered my pierced ears many months ago. As an early birthday present, I took her to a jewelry store after picking her and the boys up from school. She loves her new earrings! She did not cry, and even denied that it hurt at all. (I did see her eyes water a little bit right when the guns went off). She was so excited and just squealed with delight when the saleslady put the mirror in front of her! I can't believe I forgot to take the camera on this momentous occasion! :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I did it!

Yeah! I made a pee-pee in the potty today! I am so proud of me (and Mommy is too)!

(Notice William's artistic rendering of Spider-Man in the background!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rebecca's new friend

It's so cool how adoption brings people together. Adoptive moms just have to look a little bit more to find each other. We talk about adoption stories instead of birth stories, so it's really no different than what other moms do! Rebecca and I met Angie and her newly adopted daughter, Danni, yesterday for lunch. Danni is 6 1/2 years old and was adopted from China in November! (Rebecca is almost 7 and was adopted in September.) Danni was very shy around us initially, but Rebecca and she had a great time together once they got in the playground!! Angie and I spent our time "comparing notes."

Rebecca and Danni
Don't you just love Danni's pink sunglasses?! She also had very long, thick hair pulled back in a ponytail!! (Guess her orphanage didn't scalp their kids! LOL)

Monday, April 7, 2008

The onesie has been breached!

She did it again. I walked into her room this morning, and she was just standing there in her crib...naked. Luckily, the bed was just wet. I now am going to try Joan's suggestion of safety pinning her clothes! And, yes, I have been putting her on the potty, but no success yet!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

At least it didn't hit the fan!

I normally like to share all the cute stuff that the kids do on this blog, but this post is not so cute. We are having a serious recurrent issue with sweet little Vivian. She's just about 23 months old, still in a crib, and she is now fascinated with what goes on inside her diaper. She loves to sit on the potty, make a "pshhhhh" sound, pretend to wipe, and flush it. Now that's cute and seems promising so what's the problem? We're definitely not "there" yet, but at least she's interested. Right?

Well, she has this little habit of taking off her PJ's, clothes, whatever, including the diaper during the night and naptime. (We do not have a video monitor so we have no idea this is going on because she is the quietest child and you never hear her until you go and get her, pretty much.) I walked into her room this afternoon and she had done it again. This is about the 4th time that she has cleaned out her stinky diaper and thrown the contents on the floor next to her crib. The evidence is also smeared on her blanket and sheet and even on the slats of her crib. (Note to self: a white crib would have been much better than dark cherry wood. Get the picture?) So then we go through the decontamination routine. And she's grinning the whole time!! It's gotten to the point that I don't even mind urine-soaked sheets! That's a time for a sigh of relief!

She can free herself from almost any clothing. We thought we had it solved with a sleeper with the little "safety snap" over the zipper thing, but she has broken through that! Now I think we are going to try just a onesie with some pajama pants over that and see how that works. I also thought that a pull-up might be a little more difficult to "go fishing" in, so I have those on my shopping list.

Any other suggestions???

Here's that cute face!