Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer is Here

Enjoying my sister's swimming hole! Planning to have a fun filled summer with the kids. Unfortunately CJ's new job has him working from 9am-9pm everyday so we don't get to see him during the week. So the kids and I have to find something to entertain us every night after work.
Yesterday's choice= Sheila's Pool!! As you can see all the kids just hate it there ;)
I have the kids spread out daycare wise this summer so that they won't get bored. They spend a couple days with Nana, couple days with Mrs. Chris, and then one day a week with Miss Carol. And of course my dad will be entertaining them some afternoons as well. Hoping we have a terrific summer!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mohawk Mom

I better get the "Cool Mom of the Year" award for this!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

What Sleep?

They look so peaceful don't they? Well let me just tell you that they don't stay this way!! At least not the girls for sure. Shelby is pretty good about sleeping now. Yes, now she is... but it was a tough road the first 6-8 months home with her. After about 8 months home, she would finally sleep through the night without me being in her bed. Oh and yes that was just last year remember?

Hmmm...Mom had a whole 3 months of sleep at the end of last year. That was SO NICE! So now that brings us to my little Faith. She doesn't sleep good at all yet. She knows every time I even roll over and starts to cry thinking that I am leaving the room. As you can see here in the pic, this is my fake body that I roll up and put between them so I can attempt to sneak in a few hours of sleep in my own bed at night. But really this doesn't even work for long. Faith is on to my scam, so now she doesn't even let me move from her side most nights.
She dreams and crys out all night long thrashing around back and forth, back and forth. I suppose this could be some form of night terrors in baby form. I don't really know, but I do know it can get to be very frustrating when mom doesn't get any sleep either. I sure hope the sleep fairy visits my house soon!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sick Stinks

A little peek into my fridge these days :(

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Researching our Options

Here is a blog of a little one currently going through the extra surgery like Shelby will probably have to have done. This little one was going to have the sphincter pharyngoplasty like Shelby's doctor is recommending, but during the operation the surgeon decided to do the p-flap instead:
I am not looking forward to another surgery with Shelby at all :( However, I know that we will do whatever we need to do to help her speak more clearly.

As a matter of fact, this weekend I had a cruel reminder that Shelby's speech affects her daily. A very MEAN little girl came up to her and Travis at the playplace we were at and said to Travis, "She doesn't even talk right!", and then proceeded to grab a handful of sand and threw it in Shelby's face. All of this happened with me standing right there witnessing the whole event. Let me just say that little girl is lucky to still be alive!

Anyhow, as I said it was a reminder to help Shelby no matter what it takes so that she will be able to speak to the best of her abilities. She is such a spirited little girl who deserves the very best :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Last Week

of school that is! I had the pleasure of attending the kids' schools last week for all of their end of the year stuff. I can't tell you how blessed I am to have a job that allows me to do these things with my children!

Anyhow, it was great to see my children SO happy to show off their work they did all year. Shelby has grown up so much this year that she really took my breath away as I got all teary eyed watching her on stage singing. Hard to believe how much she has changed this year. I was such a proud mommy!

Travis graduates from Kindergarten this year! My baby boy is on to the big first grade next year. He just makes my heart SMILE!

And Caleb is moving up to the FOURTH grade next year-oh my goodness! He is such a great big brother and role model for my kids. He had a terrific year and a wonderful teacher who really "gets him". He makes me proud to be his mommy for sure :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

PonyTail Fun

What a beautiful little girl I have! Where did that baby go?!?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thrifty Mom

Ok guys, seriously how come no one has told me about this website:

All of you know my brain can only hold so much information, so here it all is in black and white and none of you knew about this website??! I am all about good deals, anything else out there that you haven't told me about??


Loved this video. You just never know whose life is touched by adoption!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

As cliche as it sounds...I AM TRULY BLESSED! This week has been full of emotional moments for me and my kids.

We started the week off on Sunday with Faith's baby dedication at church. I was kind of got off guard when it was my turn to speak into the microphone and "simply" introduce my baby girl. I said this is Faith Straight and then a huge lump in my throat appeared and my voice crackled as I simply said "She joined our family in December".

I was surprised that I got all choked up just with that. The truth is with that simple statement a flood of emotions took over my head. I thought of her life before she came to us. Being left in a crib all day long with no one to hold her, or play with her, or to kiss her chubby cheeks is heartbreaking :( Just stop and think about it for a moment. You leaving your child in an orphanage for 16 months with no mommy or daddy. Oh how her life and our lives have been forever changed by the simple statement of her "joining our family". We are so very blessed!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hoola Time

Sorry but not much time to blog these days. We have Faith's 6 month post-placement homestudy visit tonight. Faith is back on the antibiotics this week with congestion junk. Caleb doesn't have strep, but just a sore throat this time around. Travis had his end of the year thing yesterday for finishing up kindergarten. My how time flies when we are having fun! I will leave you with some pics from Sheila's hoola hoop lesson with the kids this weekend...

Oh and yes Sheila, I still have the video of you doing the hoola. I will save that and simply hold it over your head for blackmail purposes only ;)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Before I Was a Mom

Before I was a Mom,

I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried..
I never got gloriously happy
over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby
just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love
someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having
my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between
a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle
of the night every 10 minutes
to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment or
the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom!
Happy Mother's Day to the best Mom and Nana anyone could have! We love you Nana!!

Birthmom's Day

Happy Birthmother's Day! I know not something you may know about or hear often, but yes today is the day to celebrate the mother that gave birth to you. You can click on this link to learn more about today's holiday.

I plan to talk to Shelby today a little about her birthmother and to honor her some simple way today. As both of my girls grow up, I hope they can talk openly with me about their questions they will have about their birth mom. I believe the sooner I talk to them about her, the better equipped they will be to handle their strong emotions about her. So please today stop for a moment and remember how blessed you are because someone somewhere gave birth to you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Hard Sometimes

I watched some of Oprah the other day and there was a show about the real face of "Motherhood". It was really a good show at least the parts I managed to view in between chasing my kids around. It was about all the stuff no one told you parenting would be like...HARD WORK!!

So I just wanted to post this out there since Mother's Day is this weekend. Us moms...WORK HARD! Yes, there you go I said it. It is no mystery to any mom, but for some reason it is a mystery to everyone else who isn't a mom. Maybe it is because we are more detail oriented and emotional in general being women, but we have alot of things going on in our heads 24/7 about our kids and our families. Sometimes it is just exhausting!

Now here is the kicker, we ASKED for this. Yep at least most of us PLANNED our children. We intentionally brought this on ourselves...all this HARD WORK! It really is a puzzle to me sometimes of why we do this to ourselves. Of course I know the rewards are great sometimes (sorry but that is the truth-only sometimes). And I know that all children are God's gifts to us, but come on why does it have to be so stinking hard at times?!

Ok, there is my vent for the day. I plan to have a wonderful Mother's Day celebrating the JOYS of motherhood. Yes, there are a lot of JOYS that come with the job too :) I just wanted all you moms out there to know that I KNOW how hard it is to be a great mom. I appreciate all your hard work you put into the job to make our kids' futures a better place. Since my children have to live in the world with your children, thank you for making them pleasant children to live with ;)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

She Knows

Yesterday Shelby had a speech evaluation appointment down at CHOA. The eval went well and I was happy to have some dedicated time with the speech therapist to discuss Shelby's future. We believe that she will need another surgery often called a p-flap to help her with her speech progress. He will decide in about 3 months if we are going to do the surgery and when.

Back to the title of the day, she knows. Yesterday was the first time that I realized Shelby knows she looks different. When we were in the waiting room, she saw a little boy there with a repaired cleft lip like hers. She got very excited and walked right up to him and said, "Look Mommy he has a palate lip like me!".

For some reason I was immediately saddened. I know that wasn't how I should feel, but I did. I want Shelby to be proud of the way God made her and for her to know that she is beautiful. And this she was as the excitement in her face was genuine to see another person "like her". However, I guess I realized that even though I see her beauty, reality is that others will not :( I know that she will have her share of teasing throughout her life and for that I am sad. I guess I just didn't realize that she already knows that she is "different". So now it is my job to teach her that "different" doesn't mean "bad"!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eighteen Months Ago

Today marks Shelby's 18 month Gotcha Day anniversary! It is really hard to believe that she hasn't always been with us. I am so thankful to have her as my daughter. She is so smart, brave, funny, adorable, and of course stubborn just like her moma ;)

Marking 18 months with her reminds me again of her foster mom in China that raised her for 26 months! Can you imagine having a child in your home for 26 months and then someone taking her away from you?!?! I am so thankful to her for taking care of Shelby and giving her heart away to my child only to have it taken away from her 2 years later. I have been lucky enough to have her for 18 months so far and what a blessing she has been to our family. I hope that her foster mom remembers all the blessings that little Hong Hong gave her :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend Recap

Amazingly enough the rain held off on Friday night, so we had a great support group meeting at our house. All the kids enjoyed the backyard and we had terrific time spent with friends.

Unfortunately Faith started back with fever Saturday night and was feeling YUCKY all day yesterday. As you can see it landed her a day spent in the pouch (Ergo=priceless) with mom. This was the only thing that made her happy (or at least not crying), and it gave me the mobility to help Caleb with his school project.

Oh and Caleb finally captured a lizard of his very own-yeah! You have no idea how many hours my son has spent looking under every rock and branch in the yard. Oh the joys of boys ;)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2 Years Ago Today

I sent this email that would forever change lives:

From: Donna Straight
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:56 AM
To: 'Aisha Cooper'
RE: Ning Fu Hong

We WANT this baby!! Tell me what to do now please. You can reach directly at 678-269-1103 or cell 678-296-9975. Thanks!

Donna Straight