Monday, March 31

A few I missed- THANK YOU!

I knew it was inevitable, but I missed a few people in my Showered and Sharing post.  Here are a few!  THANK YOU!!!

Grandma and Grandpa-Groceries and frozen foods to restock the house when Mike was coming home!

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Christina for the Baby K'tan!  This was my constant companion once I got custody of the kids and even a few times in the playroom! (pics are from when I first got it in Dec)

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Baby formula and a 'gift of more' from Mary- THANK YOU!

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And I added them on an edit so I want to say it again- I missed two of the MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE on my first post!  Andrea- director of Reece's Rainbow, and Amy- who I now call a friend that helped me get my dossier together properly!  There's no way I'd have these two kiddos in my home right now if it wasn't for you!  THANK YOU!!!

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Sunday, March 30

Picure People

Tonight we had photos taken at Picture People! I LOVE this photography studio! We always get wonderful photos!

Usually we go in and do 1 or 2 poses, but this time we did the 6 of us, 4 kids, and then individuals of each kid. They all turned out great! I think they'll be posted on my account online soon. I will try to figure out how to link to the shared album! I'm so proud of each of my kiddos! Bria and K were especially cooperative- although getting everyone to look the same direction was good enough for me! Smiling was optional :) But we got great pics all around and even those that don't have smiles turned out sweet!

During the pic's of the 4 kids the ladies taking the photos were VERY enthusiastic and Emma ended up getting scared. So even tho we were really CLOSE to a great shot we settled for an 'almost'! She did calm down though and hung out in the background while each of the other kids got their individual photos done. Micah smiled for a few but those were ones where he was propped up and he really looked like an infant. He's 18 months old... we went with one of him holding his head and shoulders up high and looking around. It's very cute- even without a smile! And Emma- she has a beautiful smile! But it's so hard to catch! We did get a few with her smiling but most also had her eyes closed. So a 'serious' pic of her too, but with this cute little smirk on her face- priceless :)

Brianna kept crawling around, stopping, posing, and then going on to something else. It was too funny! She set times smiled, sometimes didn't, but she scrunches up her face so much when she smiles this little cheesy grin that it was hard to get a genuine smile. She wasn't shy of the camera though! And Kristopher- he's got a sweet little devilish grin that says he knows he's cute! They took some really cute pic's of him jumping but we went with one that 'fit' with the other 3 kids a little better :) He's just a cute kid!

It's amazing the difference in even just Bria and K from September when we had photos done until now. They're so much bigger and stronger. I can't wait to have a 'comparison' photo 6 months from now!

Saturday, March 29

Issues

Everyone has issues, right?  Here are the health questions we still have about Emma and Micah.  If you have any insight please feel free to clue me in!


Emma

  • Of course, her heart which we'll find out more about on 4/7
  • SUPER elasticity in her joints- she will put both legs (straight knees) up next to her ears then put her elbows in FRONT of her knees and hold her head up like she's going to sit up.  OUCH.
  • Unknown whether her hips have formed in a way that will allow her to bear weight
  • Something called "talipes valgus"- I haven't had time to look it up yet but we were referred to an orthotist for it.  For some reason clubbed feet comes to mind with the term talipes?  I'll look it up eventually...
  • She "clicks" her left knee in and out of joint.  Almost like her knee cap is dislocating.  EW and OW.  This can't be good for her and really seems like it should hurt!
  • She eats only from a bottle and when offered a sippy cup screamed about it for 5 minutes.  No spoon either yet.  *sigh*  At least she's eating!

Micah

  • The unusual curve in his spine, we've had x-rays and a referral to an orthotist.  But does it actually MEAN anything?  Or is it just no big deal?
  • Some sort of nasal/throat/sinus issue.  At first we thought it was stimming but its frequency makes us think otherwise.  He does these weird LOUD and intentional noises and also sounds like he's snoring (unintentionally) even when he's wide awake and playing sometimes.  Tonsils? Adenoids? Sinuses? Nose? Throat?  Annoying behavior?  Who knows!  Oh, and no stuffy nose or drainage at all.  So that's not it.
  • He too eats only from a bottle and the sippy cup, although it didn't throw him into hysterics, was not a pleasant experience and he didn't get any milk.  No spoon either.  But he eats.
  • Along with eating comes spitting up.  I'm not sure, again, whether it's a medical issue or not, but he spits up after just about every meal.  Maybe he eats too much?  My guess is more along the lines of reflux.  Because it doesn't matter whether he finishes the bottle or not, he still spits up.  And he is also very uncomfortable for about 20-30 min after finishing a bottle (even with the soy which means he doesn't have diarrhea or MAJOR puking, but still this spitting up).  He will also have some milk on his tongue a while after.  Maybe silent reflux?  Don't know!  Again, we have been referred to a GI doctor for these issues.
  • He leaks.  And there's no hole.  Micah leaks out the side of his mouth a LOT!  Maybe 2-3 oz sometimes of a 7 oz bottle.  Other times he does great and barely anything comes out.  I've asked our OT and will ask the ST soon but the different way of holding his chin helps (sometimes) and we've switched over to using only one type of bottle nipple for him as well.

 

Any thoughts for me??  Ideas to work on or try??  We'll be in St Pete for a while which means no therapy for either kiddo until we are home, probably.  I have been doing what I did with Bria as an infant but any other tips, tricks, or suggestions (or possible causes!) would be wonderful!

Denis has a family!!

As some of you know, I had the privilege of meeting other children with special needs while I was in Ukraine. A few of these children were in Emma's and Micah's area and some were in other parts of the orphanage. One little boy that Mike and I always were glad to see up and around was little Denis. He is a very sweet little boy that is 18 months old and is learning to walk. He would go down the halls of the little infirmary area with just the fingers of a nurse as he learned to walk. He would cry his soft longing cry as Emma was changed into clothes to come visit with us (they were roommates). He was a typical kid, a sweet little boy. A baby, really. So why was he in the infirmary? His mother wanted to play god.

As you can see from the photo below, little Denis has major scarring and is missing one eye from damage done after birth at the hand of his biological mother. But rather than feel sorry for Denis today I'm full of JOY that his forever family has found him! Not only that, but their dossier is already in Ukraine and they are only waiting on a travel date! He is officially available in just a few months and they should be there immediately after that. Denis is coming home! I am humbled and in awe of what God is doing in bringing His chosen children home for medical care, love, and a family! Reece's Rainbow is a Down syndrome adoption ministry, but it also has a page called "other angels" which has information on children with other special needs. What a wonderful gift of FAMILY for Denis, and a wonderful son-to-be to his new parents! Congratulations, Christine and family! I can't wait to see Denis wrapped in the love of your family! You can follow Denis' journey home on their blog.

 

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A little visitor

This morning I took Micah and my mom and I went out to some garage sales just to get out of the house (without a parade) for a few. When I got home I made up lunch for everyone and it was such a BEAUTIFUL day that we ate on a blanket in the yard. It's 82 outside this afternoon. Perfect in the shade! Man I love March/April in Florida! At the end of our picnic lunch our dog, Buttermilk, started barking uncontrollably and Mike went to investigate. Just outside our fence at the back of the property is a Gopher Tortoise! I love these big guys! Mike took Brianna back to see it and then I took the boys (Emma was chowing down and she missed it). Buttermilk stayed right at the edge of the fence barking to her heart's content but eventually got bored of the rock sitting there doing nothing and left it alone :)

We got to clean out the garage a little today too. The girls were napping and I can now store the strollers next to the car and pick and choose for each trip out. Whether it's a single, double, or triple, I can't just keep them all in the car so I'm glad to have some storage space now!

Friday, March 28

I need your help

I'm sure it's similar around different parts of the country, but here the housing market is at a stand-still.  Unfortunately, this means that the house we've had for sale for almost a year is still on the market.  I realized that there are a lot of different people reading on here now and that maybe, just maybe, one of my readers might know someone that's interested in a home in Florida.  It's about 25 minutes from the beach, right off highway 50 which is a straight shot (3 minutes) to the river to watch the shuttle launches, and it's in a 'small town' where everything you need is available within 5 minutes (Restaurants, Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Staples, Publix, K-Mart, etc.) and everything you want is available either in Orlando (35-60min East or Disney area), Daytona (45 minutes), Cocoa (20 minutes), Cocoa Beach (35 minutes), or Merrit Island (25 minutes).  Many people have homes in Titusville as a winter home or a vacation home

Here is some information and photographs of the house.  Please pass this along to anyone that may be interested.  The sale of this home would be a HUGE benefit for us to not be making monthly payments.  The current asking price will not leave us with a profit, but the monthly payments being gone is a benefit alone!  Especially in light of Emma's upcoming open heart surgery which was not a part of the great "international adoption plan", but it was part of God's plan and we know that He has us covered.

We have dropped the price of the house from $172,000 to $144,500 over the past year and it is now well below the comparative pricing in this area.  It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with over 1500 square feet.  It has a one car garage, a fenced yard, beautiful fruit trees, and a huge master suite.   It is on a corner lot in a fairly quiet neighborhood.  The inside has 18" tile in the main living areas, wood laminate in the master bedroom, and brand new carpet in the other two bedrooms.  It has an eat-in kitchen, dining room, large living room, large pantry, indoor laundry room, and linen closet.  The master bedroom is newly remodeled and approximately 22x12 leaving space for a sitting area, in-home office, or nursery area. 

 

The house is currently listed with Michael's dad, Cecil with Century 21 Flag Agency in Titusville and the MLS # is R467802A.  To view the MLS go to www.brevardMLS.com and choose Public Access.  You can reach Cecil at the Century 21 Flag office at 321-267-3600.  Other contact information is available here: http://www.c21flag.com/index.cfm/Our_Agents

 

THANK YOU!!

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Outside of the house                                 Living room from dining room

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Living Room (toward front door)                 Dining room (kitchen to left)

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Master bedroom toward back of house        toward front of house

(bathroom door left back corner)

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Kitchen (toward front door)                       Kitchen (toward garage)

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Bedroom 2 (now has new carpet flooring)            Kitchen eat-in area

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Bathroom 2 (repainted and ducks removed!)   Bedroom 3 (repainted beige and new carpet)

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Bedroom 3

PS

No, there was not an actual shower. Just random acts of kindness from different people and that's why I wanted to share them here :)

Oops, I got caught!

Emma loves her baby brother :)

Thursday, March 27

Have you noticed

That my posts have gotten really short?  I'm still here, promise, just I've been working on one big post and I'll publish it in the next few days.  For now here's a few pic's and a video is still to come!

 

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Balloons are fun!                                                   Flying on Mommy's legs- a favorite,

                                                                                despite the goofy face!

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Enjoying a car ride home from school                        Hanging out like a little snapping turtle

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Playing together- and both still smiling!

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Kisses for the baby brother! And Emma's tummy is one of her favorite toys!

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Snatching some time on the laptop.  Somehow she even got music to play!

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Huh, so you came here too?

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Hurricane Brianna and her popcorn.  She doesn't seem to mind though!

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Where'd Micah go?

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Beautiful girl                                                      Why did you put it so far away??

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Want to play?  This thing sings and moves!

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You not sure if I know I'm cute?  This one should take care of that :)

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Windows Live Writer

I found something  new :)  I like it very much!  It is a free download and it's called Windows Live Writer.  It keeps me from having to upload pictures and transplant the codes into my post, because everything's done offline and downloaded in a complete package by the program!

One more way to speed up the writing process!  I'll do anything for 5 extra minutes of time!

Wednesday, March 26

Accomplished...

2 blood draws (one stick each!) in Orlando
1 short shopping spree at Babies R Us in Orlando :) Thanks Lisa!!
2 x-rays in Titusville
4 bathed and sleeping beauties in BED

Now for some SLEEP

Tuesday, March 25

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is blood work day!   YAY! Yeah, right.  We have to drive for about 45 minutes into Orlando then get three babies out of the car and into the hospital.  Sign in.  Go to another area.  Sign in.  Give all our info.  Twice.  Then go to the area where they have the lab.  Then wait.  A while.  Then two of the kids get blood drawn and we're headed back home again.

And if we're lucky with the blood draws and we have two successful pricks (and no unsuccessful ones) and we are all up for the jaunt... then we'll head to our local hospital (after dropping Bria off with Grandma) and get Emma and Micah's x-rays done.  Doesn't that sound like a fun day??  Don't you want to come too??

Our gathering of familiar friends and new friends!

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Grandmommy made this one, ADORABLE!             And one from Publix too :)

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Brianna and Micah enjoying the floor!             Our attempt at a family photo..

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That's Travis,                         and two "new friends" that we met through our

the pastor of the first church Mike                         adoption experience.  How wonderful to meet

worked at as a youth pastor fresh                          you both!!

out of high school :)

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We had a great time today!  Several new friends came out for us to meet them for the first time as well as many friends from in town and a few out-of-towners as well!  We had a wonderful time visiting with everyone!  Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes, and for coming out to celebrate our children with us.  What a blessing you are to our family!