Sunday, March 31, 2013

Our Redeemer Lives

Celebrating Easter ... because of His gift to us we have power over sin, we have hope and we can have life eternal.  All things we could never attain on our own ... and, love these babies he has given us ... praying that they find their truths in Him alone and follow after Him with all their hearts.
Happy Resurrection Sunday! 

Silly Faces with the LilyKids
(Aside from Nora who is looking rather sweet)

Oh, there's her silly face!

Amazing - no silly face!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Choosing Cleft

I belong to a Cleft Adoption Yahoo group.  While I have not ever jumped in on any of the conversations, it is insightful to read them all.  So many individual and varying experiences and a wealth of knowledge.  I do find myself strategically avoiding the “hard” conversations.  However, there has recently been a conversation that began with a family that is working on their adoption paperwork posing some “simple” questions.  This particular family is at the point of considering cleft as a “minor correctable special need” (quoted from adoption checklists) that they are open to.  This opened up so much candid conversation, conversation that has been both encouraging and terrifying (families broken apart, some cleft kiddos with an unimaginable number of surgeries, years (YEARS) of therapies, etc.).  But, over and over the theme was common – despite the challenges, these children have blessed the families they have become a part of in so many ways.  So often we hear “Nora is so lucky” … at the end of the day, it is clear to see that we are the “lucky” (or, as I prefer to say, blessed) ones. 
So, where are we at?  Or, more importantly, where is Nora at?  Nora is 20 months old now and has been with us five months (how can that be?).  Developmentally, we are seeing a ton of growth in just common everyday things (she is a busy toddler – she has picked up quite quickly on the “explore” every cupboard / drawer and empty them – what a fun game ... for her!).  Nora is a fantastic eater!  If I had to guess I would say that she has probably just surpassed the 20 pound mark (to be confirmed in April at a visit to the doctor).  

Speech continues to be an area we are focusing on ~ at this point, Nora can audibly say “hi”, and she sometimes (if she feels like cooperating) will try to repeat sounds.  Despite these delays, she has no issues communicating as it is typically pretty clear to understand what she wants and needs.  We are doing some simple sign language with her as well (and a speech therapist comes to our house once every two weeks).  

Our biggest challenge continues to be sleep … which does not have one single thing to do with her “minor correctable special need”!  Nora was having some tummy issues which we seem to have resolved which has improved sleep (we are in a much better place than we were months ago).  Now, it seems the sleep struggle has been related to pure adoption issues.  Some would advise that we should start sleep training her, but parenting her is so different than parenting the other kiddos.  Adoption is a complex and amazing thing.

Relating to Nora's cleft, we do not see the cleft team and her surgeon again until this summer.  She will likely need a couple of follow-up surgeries but nothing more within the year.  For now, we continue to love on and further learn how to parent this sweet little thang, and she continues to absorb and learn!  She is even learning how to drive her Mama crazy with her funny faces ... courtesy of her big sister!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shootin' Hoops

Jack is my sports guy ~ he loves to play and watch! Today were Jack's last games of the season.  Jack and his friends / classmates are good athletes, BUT basketball is not their strongest sport so we are all kind of relieved to see the season come to end.  And, this week baseball starts up!  Jack and his friends are quite excited about this as this IS one of their favorites (and something that many of them excel at).

Because today's games were the last of the season, we bribed the other kids with candy everyone was excited to go and cheer on their brother.
More funny faces with Lydia ... getting ready for candy the game.

Lydia specifically requested this sweatshirt so she could store her Skittles in her pocket, the whole game she kept saying "I really LOVE candy a whole lot."

Not as good as Skittles, but Little Miss doesn't care ~ she just loves herself a snack!
Nice job setting up the play, Jack!

Awe, don't hang your head!  Baseball season is right around the corner!

Proud of you, Jack! Despite your team's record this season, you continued to learn and increase your skills!  And, you kept your aggressive ball playing in check (while still managing to have many of the Dads (and the Middle School football coach) talk you into playing football in the Fall) ... sigh, you're growing up too fast!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Funny Faces with Lydia

It seems that I cannot get a good photo of Lydia with her natural smile.  Rather, most of the recent photos include her making some sort of a funny face.  The comments I got on the photo of Lydia in front of my parents tree on this Sisters post made me smile.  Lydia was so full of enthusiasm on Christmas Eve, it is easy to say she was the life of the party at my parents house.  I, of course, wasn't able to get a natural photo of her.  Instead I got the photo in the Sisters post and these (the kids were absolutely loving fleece pullovers they got from my Aunt and Uncle who live out of state, her and Samuel needed to model them).

And, yes, that is Nora at Lydia's feet.  She had tipped over during all of the excitement of modeling the fleeces.  You can see that she resorted to finding her thumb and hanging out patiently waiting to be rescued and likely hoping that she didn't get stepped on (for the record, she didn't).

Not only does Lydia put on funny faces, she often is "striking a pose."  
And, just when I think I am getting close to getting a cute little posed photo, this happens.
And, this makes me laugh because this is when she was supposed to be making a funny face!
Lydia also has a game she likes to play where she will demand, "Mama, do this" while she makes a face that I need to imitate.  I (usually) happily oblige to entertain her.
Oh, little blue-eyed, snow-eating girl smiling with your eyes, we love you!  You make us laugh with your silly faces and crazy antics!