Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

They're Here!!!

Aren't they cute!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I need to clean.
The house is dusty.
Seriously, you could sign the coffee table and call it a guest book.
I haven't vacuumed in longer than I'm willing to admit.
Laundry is piled up but laundry is ALWAYS piled up.
My sink is even full of dishes...gross!
We've been busy!!!

Once all that is done, I would love to finally put up the Fall decorations.
I LOVE Fall!
I love my Fall decorations.
I love the cooler weather.
I love the promise of much cooler weather!
I love the changes it brings.
I love how everyone comes in to hibernate.
I don't love to clean!

All I really want to do is play!!!
I/we NEED a play day!!!
I'm trying really hard to justify playing all day.
If I pat KayLi's back with each syllable I speak can I call it speech therapy?
I'll ask her lots of questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
I'll encourage her to put her teeth together and say lots of "S" words!
Really, it would be sooo much more than just playing.

Aaahhhh, but I have to clean.
Not just because there is cleaning to be done.
There are two wonderful people coming tomorrow.
People that I love, even more than playing.
People that deserve my house to feel warm and welcoming.
Once they are here, we will play all weekend!
I can't wait!!!!

So, I'll go clean.
In my head all I hear is...
I may be cleaning but I'm whining on the inside!

I wonder if KayLi wants to Du-sssst or Vac-uum?

Sorry I haven't posted about speech therapy yet. We started last week and I keep forgetting my camera. LOVE IT!!! I'll post about it when my house is a little cleaner.

Sorry too about the totally unrelated picture of KayLi. I decided it was much cuter than a picture of cleaning supplies!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sweet But Not So Innocent

Last Sunday as we were leaving for church, I just HAD to stop and grab my camera. KayLi looked so cute! Her pink dress and shoes were new and the little sweater we found in China matched it perfectly.

I couldn't help but think that she looked so sweet and innocent!

Yep she's sweet alright but she is not so innocent. Trust me looks can be deceiving.

She may look like she is just sitting there, leaning against the laundry room door and calmly playing her little recorder. But on the other side of the door that...

her sister is screaming "Move KayLi! MOOOOOMMMMM, she won't let me out!!!!"

So of coarse I just HAD to grab my camera, to record this loving sisterly exchange before I asked KayLi to move.

Oh and just for the record, KayLi couldn't play with toys like this recorder or blow raspberries (called serberts around here) before her palate surgery. While she could blow bubbles without any problems these two things were very difficult. The air she would try and blow out her mouth would almost always come out her nose.

Now she's a pro! From what I understand all of the "blowing" toys and games are great for strengthening her palate. I never in a million years thought I would be intentionally looking for a whistle for one of my children but I am. Maybe we'll just blow extra bubbles!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Only Junior High School

Sometimes you turn around and wonder how your children seemed to grow up so quickly. You can't believe they have breezed through another stage of childhood and you are left feeling like maybe you missed something. Shouldn't they still be playing with Barbies or Ninja Turtles? Weren't they just asking for piggy back rides yesterday.

Then there are times when you see it clearly. You know it's happening before your eyes but you're helpless to do anything about it. When you are watching them change and know deep in your soul that things will never be the same. Times when you want to scream "Stop! I'm not ready yet!" Or beg "Please slow down a little."

This is one of those times.

Everything in me wants to beg and scream and somehow put on the brakes of life. Emily is simply growing up way too fast these days.

The logical me says "It's just junior high. She's just playing the saxophone. She isn't leaving for college yet." But the Mama in me knows. Oh, she knows and she isn't happy about it.

Maybe if you all chant with me "It's only junior high school. It's only junior high school." Then she will magically stop growing up and remain my little girl forever and ever.

Yeah. If that worked I would have chanted "It's only five pounds." years ago!!!

I would appreciate a little prayer though. I can be pitiful sometimes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Faith in Four Words





Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So Thankful!

A week ago Saturday a sweet friend of ours invited us to her garden to take pictures before the first frost. I am so thankful for that invitation and for the wonderful pictures her daughter captured of us.

Thank you so much Jaynie and Christi for having us over and capturing this special time in our lives. We will treasure these pictures and your friendship always!

When I was looking through the pictures after she brought them by, I was over whelmed with thankfulness. I really can't describe how blessed I felt as I looked at each shot.

I have so much to be thankful for...

I'm thankful that KayLi finally knows the joy of being part of a family.

And that Emily finally knows the love of a little sister.

That I have the privilege of watching this young girl grow into a woman of God.

And that three months ago today I had the honor of becoming this sweet child's mother.

Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We Made It!!!!

Yeah!!! No more liquid diet!!!! My blender is tucked in a high cupboard and I don't plan on using it again for a very long time!

We saw Dr. Genecov Tuesday and he said she did great! I was shocked to hear that she can eat anything she wants. I just assumed she would be on a soft diet for a little while but he said she was fine. I still think we'll avoid tortilla chips and lollipops for a few days!

He further surprised us by saying we could go ahead and schedule her lip revision and nose reconstruction. He thought we may like to get it done before the end of the year for tax and insurance purposes. So please pray that Allie is able to get time off from work because we scheduled it for Dec. 2nd. As much as I hate the idea of going through all of this again so soon, I'm also glad that we will get it behind us quickly.

I was relieved to hear that her recovery from the upcoming surgery would be a little easier than this was. It won't be pleasant and I'm already dreading her coming out of anesthesia again but overall it's got to be easier than two weeks of liquids!

As soon as we left the doctors office, we had a banana (her favorite food ever) waiting in the car for her. She was so excited!!! I tried getting a pictures of it but it was a little difficult on my phone and in a moving vehicle.

We went straight to a little cafe for lunch and it was sooooo exciting to see her drink from a straw for the first time. Allie cut it down short and we were super careful not to let her hold the cup. All I could imagine was the straw going straight through that beautiful new palate....seriously it looks like there was never a cleft...amazing!!!!

She was so surprised and excited when she actually got a drink from the straw. She jumped back with the biggest grin ever!!! I can just imagine what the other people at the cafe thought of us. Don't all parents take pictures of their daughter taking a drink and laugh like idiots about it?!?!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Non-Issue Really

This picture has nothing to do with the post but you'll be seeing a lot more like it very soon!

Several things have happened recently that have convinced me that maybe it would be a good idea to post about KayLi's language skills.

First an adoptive mom at KayLi's pre-op appointment asked about the language barrier. She and her husband are considering an older child adoption but are concerned about it. I had to try to keep from laughing because it's really a non-issue.

Then Rachelle at "With One Step" addressed a question someone had about language. I thought she did a great job in her post titled "75 Days".

And not long ago my friend Traci was telling me how surprised she was by the number of questions she had gotten about it.

So yesterday when a friend of mine asked if KayLi was learning English very well, I thought "I really need to address this "non-issue" because people seem to be really hung up on it."

I think it might help to understand that KayLi has two modes in public. Excited or quiet. So unless you come to my house and see her on her turf, it's easy to think she isn't leaning or doesn't understand. But that couldn't be further from the truth. She is actually learning so quickly that it is awesome to watch!

In almost three months we have only had one melt down because I couldn't figure out what she wanted. But that may have been because she was tired at the time...we weren't really sure about this particular incident :0) Anyway, it seems as though KayLi has understood us from the beginning. And while she still understands much more than she can say, she talks a lot at home.

I thought it might be fun to try to make a list of what KayLi can say. I know I won't be able to list everything because she knows and says the names of almost all every day objects. I also know that I will forget a lot and have to fight the urge to edit this post every two days.

While some things can only be understood by us, she knows exactly what she is saying. I totally believe that with speech therapy over the next several months, her language skills will thrive. Until then, I really don't mind being her translator.

So at the risk of bragging (like I had anything to do with her intelligence), here's the list :0)

"Drink please."
"Mama play KayLi" or whoever she wants to play with her at the moment.
"Mama help." Meaning "Mama do it."
"KayLi help." Meaning "I can do it myself!"
"KayLi's turn."
"KayLi sharing." It freaked me out how quickly she started sharing. It had to have been taught before us! Just don't take something from her's not pretty.
She can name most all body parts.
She can count to ten with you and count items to seven by herself.
"KayLi no tired." or "KayLi no night night." These often run together!
"Wait a minute." When she is running off to get something she wants you to play with.
"KayLi's...." you name it, it's ALL hers. This is her version of "Mine!" when she is not in the mode to share ;0)
"KayLi light on/off." She LOVES that she can do this!
"KayLi brush hair/teeth."
"I'm three." When asked how old she is.
"I'm three." Also her reply if asked "How are you."
"KayLi's shirt on." or pants, socks, shoes as she gets dressed.
"No wash KayLi hair." It's still not her favorite part of the bath.
"Nice dog." Dogs can be very scary :0)
"KayLi shopping, yeah!"
"Come on KayLi." meaning "Come with me."
"Yeah, Daddy's home!" or Emily, or Ryan!
"More candy please." Not recently but she did ask for "More oatmeal please." this morning.
"Oh my goodness."
"Mama where are you?"
"No yelling. Shhh." usually when the older kids are excited about a video game and never when she is yelling for "More Elmo Please." OK, usually without the "please" if she is yelling for Elmo. We're working on it!
"Hold me." I love this but I have to admit that I miss the way she said "Nay wa" when she wanted to be held or picked up. She just recently learned "hold me" and I was a little sad.
She knows red, blue & yellow and sometimes green but we are working on the rest of her colors..
"Running fast."
"Walking slow."
"That yucky gross."
"Mama, KayLi outside bubbles swing."
"Cold ice cream good."
"KayLi hot noodles?" I've heard this often lately, ramon noodles are total comfort food to her!
"Red jello so good."
"You teasing me." Usually said to her daddy!
"I love you so much."
And my personal favorite "Mama, Daddy, Emily, Grandma, KayLi, Ryan family."

I can't believe.....

My husband put this....
in one of these....

added a little of this....

gave it to my daughter and she drank it!

Yes, he even put the ketchup....just sick, I know!

Friday, October 2, 2009

What I Wish I Knew Before Surgery

There seem to be so many little things that I wish I had known before KayLi's palate surgery. My sweet friend Traci tried to clue me in and I'm so thankful for the heads up she gave me on a few things. So I thought I would post a list of the things I wish I had known and try to give anyone else who has this in there future a heads up too.

Be warned though that most of these "tips" have to do with the liquid diet issue. It's by far the most challenging part of this procedure. So Rachelle, this list is written with you in mind but I'd still love it if you called :0)

If you don't have palate repair surgery in your future, please enjoy a couple pictures of KayLi and know that she is doing great!

Oh and if you happen to have already gone through this and lip revision or nose reconstruction, I would love to hear from you and learn you tips for recovery.

Love the "Candy Milk" mustache going on in this picture!
So here's my corny list"

Freezing yogurt in ice cube trays, then popping them out and putting them into a freezer bag is a wonderful way to have frozen yogurt ready for smoothies.

It's really hard to cook for yourself and the rest of your family when you are trying to keep food away from a toddler that wants to be where you are. So cook and freeze meals in advance. I really wish I had done this...would have saved us many meals of cold cereal or tv dinners :0)

Slightly thawed popsicles with juice smashed into them are a great cold treat. Especially the first few days when their little throats are so sore.

"Creamy" oatmeal ie, "Peaches & Cream" or "Blueberries & Cream" are great thinned down with milk. As long as you remove the fruit before you cook it. If you put it in the blender it gets gross and frothy. Just thin it way down and you're all set.

Nap when they nap the first several days because you will be up several times through out the night. Or better yet beg your mom to stay with you to give you a nap break every once in awhile. Thanks mom!

Potatoes boiled in half water half beef broth actually taste like roasted potatoes. If you thin the "potato soup", mash it like crazy and strain it with a fork, you don't have to put it in the gets frothy too...yuck!

Chowders blend really well. They are one of the few things that don't gross me out.

A three year old is capable of understanding that food will hurt her mouth and that when it gets better she can have cookies. I didn't think KayLi would get this. I thought she would think we were evil food Natzi's. She gets it....she's not always happy about it but she gets it.

Kids recover very quickly! You literally couldn't keep her down long. She was happy and playing so much sooner than I thought she would be.

Elmo party cups that I can throw away ROCK!

Drinkable yogurt makes a great snack and will buy you a little time when the "real" food is still cooking.

Cheddar Cheese soup (yes they make such a thing) works as a great cheese substitute and gives soups a nice consistency.

Instant potato flakes are a great way to make any soup more creamy and filling.

KayLi "eats" best if I feed her while she mindlessly watches Sesame Street. Pitiful I know but it's working for us. She has only lost one pound so far. Plus her counting skills are coming along very well. She counted the dishes, all the way to five, while I filled the dishwasher today. I guess her Elmo addiction has a few benefits.

Carnation Instant Breakfast and ice cream make a somewhat nutritious milk shake :0)

Pediasure is not nearly as great as I hoped it would be. The chocolate isn't too bad but the vanilla and strawberry are only working for us in smoothies. If I had it to do over I wouldn't have bought them and just used the instant breakfast. It has more sugar but she likes it and it's lots cheaper.

The first week or so we had to use Saline spray for KayLi's nose every four hours. If your doctor also wants you to do this, start trying to teach your child that nasal spray is not evil as soon as possible. Maybe you can let your child see you use it and pretend to use it on them. Or let them use a little. It was awful to use this, when KayLi was so disoriented and had no idea what it was. Now she thinks it's great fun to spray it in our noses once we have sprayed hers.

KayLi loves to drop strawberries or noodles into the blender and push the button. It's a lot of fun and it has helped her to understand that she IS getting food.

Time passes really quickly when you are preparing "meals" every 2-3 hours. I can't believe we only have 3.5 days left until she can eat again!!!!!

If God called you to this, He WILL see you through this! He promises!!! Philippians 1:6!!!!!
But I bet you already knew that :0)