Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Blue eyes: Levi and Katie
Brown eyes: Ashley, Ahren and PBJ
Blonde hair: Levi and katie
Brown hair: Ashley Ahren and PBJ
Stocky build: Ashley and Ahren
Slim build: Katie and Levi (don't know about PBJ yet)
Girls: Katie, Ashley and PBJ
Boys: Levi and Ahren
Have CN as their dad: Ashley and Katie
Have my hubby Chris as their Dad: Levi, Ahren and PBJ
Born in Arizona: Katie and Ashley
Born in Texas: Levi
Born in Guatemala: Ahren and PBJ
Curly hair: Katie and Ahren, plus Levi is getting some curl now
Straight hair: Ashley and PBJ
Walked before 1 yr old: Levi and Katie
Walked after 1 yr old: Ashley and Ahren
Here is something funny. Ashley is darker skinned than Ahren. She has the most beautiful skin that tans without burning. One day in the sun and she has tan lines. Even as a little tiny girl, she was a little brown nut in the summer. Her skin is absolutely gorgeous. She looks absolutely nothing like me, but she is the spitting image of my mother, personality and all. I remember someone asking me if my girls had different fathers and if they were really sisters. They have the exact same genetic contribution, same father, same mother, same everything and yet so different. Katie and Levi look incredibly alike and yet they have different fathers.
So are we going to be a trans-racial family? Honestly, would it make a difference if we had that label? Love is not a color. Love is not a race. We will be a family. Plain and simple. A family with things in common and with uniqueness for each individual. Each one of us will be an individual and part of the whole. We will revel in the boring, averageness of our familydom. The craziness of raising 5 kids will be no different except we might just appreciate it more.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I am the king of all that I see. It is good to be King!
I don't know if he is building a nest or if there are insects in the wood, but he is a large bird and he can fit almost all the way into the hole now. I'm sure the phone company is going to appreciate it when the pole cracks in half.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. Ashley had some friends over and I let them decorate Valentines cookies for fun. As a joke, the other girls pushed all the crumbs and sprinkles over by Ashley while she wasn't looking. It looks like she is a total piggy compared to the others, but it got them all giggling like only middle-school girls can do. (The sugar they consumed while sampling their handywork probably didn't hurt their giggliness either) Two of the girls who were there are sisters who were adopted just over a year ago from the foster care system. They are beautiful, wonderful girls and are blending into their new family really well. Their other siblings were adopted by another family about an hour away and the two families get together every month or so. It hasn't been easy for anyone but the rewards are huge.
So today's message is simple. Life may smack you on the chin, but grab those bootstraps and haul yourself back up. Little curly headed kids depend on it!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Levi attempted to single-handedly fill in the pond by throwing dirt clods back into it. Luckily he lost that battle. We stayed and played for a long time and he was absolutely exhausted from running up and down the banks and throwing dirt clods. He was also one dirty little piggy by the time we headed home.
This gives you an idea of the size it was on this day. The pictures don't do it justice. I think it's going to be a really big pond, as far as suburban ponds go.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Took pictures of the new outfit I got for PBJ yesterday. The shirt says Future Cheerleader. I can't wait to enroll her at Legacy AllStars and teach her to yell Think Pink!
Here is my latest crafty attempts. I learned how to knit this past summer. I started with scarves and baby blankets and have now learned how to make these little hats. My first attempts were ridiculous but now I have the hang of it. It takes me about an hour to whip one out. PBJ has a collection of them already. One to go with each color outfit she has. I joke with Chris that I am knitting her home. If I just knit fast enough I can make her materialize!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Mom, get that camera out of here. I am stretching!
Killing time in between performances.
Laying around killing more time between performances.
Kick kick, dance dance. They won a choreography award for this routine.
Smiling for the cameras!
These are some really crazy girls!!!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Here is the front of the house. The siding is done but the stone hasn't arrived yet. The bottom half of the walls will be stone. The stone is a cultured stone that has lots of earth tones in it. The stones are different sizes and create a beautiful pattern. I am hoping it will look as fantastic in reality as it does in my head!
This is the view down the left side of the house. The house is a lot deeper than it seems looking at it straight on. You can tell where the stone goes in this shot.
Friday, February 09, 2007
We took Ashley to a pediatric orthopedist last week. They was some concern that one of her hips was not growing normally. On exam it was shown that one hip socket is extremely loose and has resulted in that leg rotatin outwards, causing pain in her knee. Once we get x-rays etc we will know the extent of the problem. Unfortunately, the only correction for this is surgical. If the ligaments can be tightened that will be done. Otherwise it might require a total hip replacement. My poor baby. This has been a very rough year for her.
Now for some good news. Peri Brynn is in PGN! The case went in in January some time. Now we just wait. One day we will get a call that says we are out, which means the final signatures are in place and she is legally our daughter. They will tell us when our embassy appointment is and I will fly down and bring her home. This could happen in a few weeks or months. PGN is a virtual black hole of government red-tape. We probably won't get any news while it's in PGN. This is the part where we are just supposed to wait patiently. To hell with that, I'm going shopping! There will be no cute little girl things left in the Houston area!!!!
And, the icing on the cake.......... we were informed yesterday that our case for Ahren has finally officially started. Apparently the birth certificate is done?? Our case was filed in family court on January 22nd. I am waiitng for confirmation before I do any backflips. We have had good news before that turned out wrong. I guess you could say that I am quietly hopeful. Everyone please say a prayer for this little guy that this is true and we will eventually be bringing him home.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Ashley has Hashimoto's disease. Although she has had it for several years, the diagnosis was only confirmed this summer. Hashimoto's disease is an auto-immune disorder where her body is attacking her thyroid gland. Her thyroid is enlarged and has many nodules. The thyroid hormone that her body makes is inactivated by the antibodies her body is producing. The thyroid hormone is very important for metabolism and overall hormone balance in the body. Because hers is not functioning she is lethargic, gains weight, has trouble focusing and a host of other less-than-desirable symptoms. The treatment consists of giving her synthetic hormone to replace the hormone her body inactivates. Her antibodies do not detect the synthetic version so it can act on the body normally. Her dose is slowly being raised until she reaches a point where she feels and acts normal and her thyroid gland begins to shrink back to it's normal size. She has already started to show signs of improvement and is super excited to be feeling better and having more energy.
Why am I being so open about my daughter's medical condition? Because I knew something was wrong and the doctors wouldn't listen to me. She is my child. I know her so well and I knew something was not right. We had her tested several times but the thyroid levels would come back normal and they would dismiss it. They told her she ate too much, she was not active enough, she was depressed, etc etc. They even sent her to a nutritionist. (It turns out that the standard thyroid tests always turn out normal for Hashimotos patients because the thyroid is making the hormone. It's just that antibodies de-activate it.) I saw my little girl losing her self-confidence. Being hurt because someone teased her and called her fat. I saw my little girl, who had always been the entertainer and life of the party become more and more withdrawn. I vowed that I would not quit until we found the answer. This summer I found a female endocrinologist in Houston. I called and made an appointment and we went. I made them listen to me. The first thing they did was a scan of her thyroid and that is when they realized how enlarged and full of nodules it was. Totally abnormal for an 11 year old girl. The rest is history. My little girl is on track to being her old self again. She will take medication for the rest of her life, but will feel and act totally normal. So parents, if you think something is wrong, trust your instincts. We know our children better than anyone. If they don't listen, go somewhere else. I wish I had a lot sooner.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
1) My family. My husband, my kids, my parents and in-laws. I have an absolutely awesome family. Every single person has been 100% supportive of our adoptions. They rock!
2) Holding my kids. I love the way they melt into your body when they are little and I love that my older girls still hug me. I especially love holding sleepy little ones.
3) Cheese. My favorite food. Anything cheesey is yummy!!!!
4) The fact that my husband kisses me hello and goodbye every day.
5) The way a child fresh out of the tub smells.
6) Ahren's curls and eyes.
7) Levi's gigantic blue eyes.
8) Ashley's sense of style and color. She has a gift and often helps me decorate or pick new clothes.
9) Katie's sunny personality. Even as a freshman in high school she tells me she loves me every day when I drop her off at school, in front of her friends!
10) Peri Brynn's chubby little cheeks that look so cute when she grins. And her left ear that is slightly bent and sticks out a wee bit.
11) Stubble on my husbands chin on weekend mornings.
12) The smell of freshly mown grass.
And much much more.
I will leave you with one Levi funny. Yesterday, while riding along in his carseat, Levi suddenly told me, "I have a big brain. Like Jimmy Neutron." Where does he come up with these things????