Sunday, August 21, 2011

Moving along...

I've been having trouble coming up with titles that sum up the blog post. Maybe it's because I tend to ramble? Anyway...

This morning Eric and I got up early, then I woke Journey up to give her her medication. She can't eat for 2 hours before, or for 45 minutes after, so I try to wake her up early to get it out of the way. To distract her, I've been letting her watch PBS while we wait out the 45 minutes since she always wakes up so hungry. Vivi isn't much of a breakfast person usually, but just in case, I usually let her sleep in a little longer. So far she's doing alright on the medication, it seemed to give her tummy troubles for the first few days but I think it is clearing up.

Eric made our copy cat recipe for Tim Horton's iced cappuccinos using dark chocolate syrup, yum! And after breakfast we headed out to Vivi's new dance school for their open house and to get her registered. It is a little bit of a drive, but a friend of mine told me about this school, and we think it is worth the drive. It is a Christian dance school that doesn't use skimpy recital costumes or teach 'sexy' moves, for any age group. They also only use music that has positive moral messages. The focus is more on the beauty and art of dance, and they teach that dancers send messages with their moves and teach them to choose their moves wisely. Isn't that awesome? I'm pretty excited about it. We got to meet some of the teachers and explore the school. Vivi's teacher, Miss Jessica, wasn't there at the time, but they showed us the room her class will meet in (and it's even purple!) and let her run around in the room. She danced in front of the big mirror and got to make herself comfortable with the building. Everyone was really nice. The whole drive home Vivi kept saying "I go to dance class. In a purple room. Miss Jessica! I be a ballerina!"And was soo excited to tell Nana and Bapa all about it.

We left Eric at the new house to work on painting and I took the girls home for lunch and naps. Then we went to the kid's consignment store to look for dance attire. I found a few different leotards in her size, and she picked one, and then we also picked a long sleeved one for winter. They didn't have shoes in her size but we did get tights. I had her try the leotards on before buying them, and she didn't want to take them off! We are going shoe shopping tomorrow, and I'll get a picture for the blog.

So far she's very excited about dance class. I hope she's as excited when it actually happens, although I'm expecting her to be shy for the first week or two. She really needs a bit of time to warm up, but after that she's a social butterfly :)

Eric painted the trim in the kitchen, and primed in some other rooms until he ran out of primer. The roofers were there in the morning trying to finish before the rain. I didn't go until it was pouring so I didn't look to see if it was finished, but our contractor said he wasn't feeling well today so he took the day off. I know I've said this a million times now, but this week really should bring a lot of progress with the house! I can't promise it because, well, you know our contractor, but things are slowly getting checked off the list and it's getting down to the fun stuff that will make the inside of the house look like a house!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pass this on and help grow a family!

I'm sharing a website for my friend Becky who is trying to use the internet to find their second baby. We have had the pleasure of spending time with Becky and her family on many occasions in the past year with our local adoptive families group. Their 4 year old daughter Morgan is a sweetie :)

So if you know anyone who is considering adoption for their unborn child, please pass this website along and help Becky grow her family:

This week in a nutshell

We have been busy! 3 toddlers within 10 months of each other who can't feed or dress or bathe themselves can sometimes be way harder than 2. Especially when they're all having a tantrum at the same time. In the middle of Home Depot. While everyone stares (and one guy even bursts out laughing before walking away, glad that he wasn't coming home with us).

Last night we had to go to Home Depot (where we spend a lot of our evenings lately) to pick out a new flooring. The flooring we had originally picked is a special order, so we could wait a week for it to go in, but he can't put the cabinets in until the flooring is in, and everything just gets held up, so we decided to try to find one they had in stock. We gave the girls granola bars, and they were happy and quiet. Until the granola bars were gone. It was almost bedtime and when one kid gets started, the other two find it easier to jump in.

That isn't the norm, most of the time all 3 girls are great. I actually took them grocery shopping by myself yesterday morning and they were perfect. Amira and Journey sat in the cart, while Vivi pushed a mini cart and followed behind. She told everyone we passed "I pushing a yittle cart. Vivi do it!"

Tomorrow is yet another move in day. Another promise broken. At least this time we weren't surprised...
However things ARE starting to move finally! The back room has been mostly rebuilt-it has walls and a ceiling and the shingles have been delivered. Most of the windows in the house have been replaced, most of the drywall is in, and the cabinets for the kitchen and bathroom have been delivered. Our guy was supposed to pick up our flooring today, yay!

We also started painting. My Uncle Chris has primed most of the house, and yesterday Eric started painting the kitchen/dining room. It's a bold color, I think it will look nice and warm and cozy and achieve the 'feel' I was going for. I hope. We won't know until the flooring and cabinets are in, but I think it will be nice.

Tomorrow morning we are going to an open house for the dance school Vivi will attend in the fall. I'm pretty excited, and Vivi is very excited to be a ballerina, or as she says it, "bawa-yina":) Then, more house stuff. Priming, painting, packing, moving, I'm sure we'll make at least one trip to Home Depot. We have to pick lighting for every room that won't have a ceiling fan with a light. Did I mention the employees all know us, and we know a lot of their names? I almost feel like we should invite them to the housewarming party ;)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, August 15, 2011


It has been such a crazy week, I haven't had a chance to mention that our son passed court last Monday!!! The courts were supposed to be closed starting last Monday, and staying closed until September 18th, but the judge so graciously continued to see cases until she actually left for her holiday. Isn't that amazing? Such a miracle! We were on pins and needles waiting to hear from our agency whether he had passed the week before, knowing that if he didn't, he wouldn't be home until November-December. Now we wait 6+ weeks to be assigned and embassy date, and Eric will go back to get him. There is a teeny tiny chance that he'll be home just before or on his 4th birthday in September but not likely. Jenavieve has already informed me that we will have cake on his birthday anyway :)

And so, I can now reveal that Little Boy's name is Jebriel Jeffrey Atticus! Jeb for short, but Vivi calls him Jebby :) I'll explain the meaning behind his names later, since I'm sure you want to see pictures of our adorable boy ;)

Hi everyone!

Jebriel and Jenavieve playing during our court trip in April-this was their actual height difference

Journey and Jebriel on Journey's embassy trip in June

This is my favorite picture of him so far, he was just goofing around for us while we played outside :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Journey's surgery (and other updates)

Sorry for not posting sooner, we've been a little busy around here!

Journey had her exploratory eye surgery yesterday and did great. I took her in by myself and Eric worked from home so Vivi and Amira (Vivi's best friend who is staying with us) could sleep in, and my mom came over to play with them and give them lunch.

Journey fell asleep in the car, but woke up when we got to the hospital. I loaded our stuff into the double stroller and we headed inside. First we had to check in and get her hospital bracelet and my pass into the children's surgery area. Then a guy came and collected a group of us and took us up to another waiting room. By that point Journey was getting hungry and trying to go through my bag, because I always bring snacks with us. It wasn't long before we got called back and they weighed and measured her and took her temp, then took us to a room where a nurse came in and explained the procedure and how everything works, and gave us a hospital outfit to put on her. It again was a struggle for me and 2 nurses to hold her down for the dilation drops.

We did some waiting, then the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about his part of the procedure. They really go out of their way to ease a parents' mind. Then we waited. And waited. And waited...the surgery was supposed to be at 9:30, they didn't come get her until almost 11. I got to take her into the operating room and try to comfort her while they got her ready. They put a flavored chapstick or something inside the mask so she fell asleep to strawberry banana. I made sure to mention that she's a lot stronger than she looks before they started doing anything to her, and after about 10 seconds of trying to get the mask on her face and the electrode thing on her chest, the anesthetist assistant said "you weren't kidding!" When she fell asleep, they let me give her a kiss, then a nurse took me back to our room to wait.

About 20 minutes later, the eye doctor came in to talk to me. He said that the surgery had gone well, Journey did great, and that she doesn't have glaucoma or pressure or anything bad in her little eye. She has all the parts she should have in there, but the lens isn't in the right spot. She can see out of it, but not very well. He mentioned that it sees better than her other eye, which surprised me. He isn't sure if he wants to do anything with her little eye, he wants to bring her case to some other doctors and talk about it and he'll get back to us in the next couple of weeks. I'm expecting that he'll say "just leave it for now".

Not long after that, they brought her in to me. She was still sleeping and still on the iv. When she started waking up she was groggy and and her iv was giving her a lot of pain, but after they took that out, gave her some medicine for the pain, and brought her a cup of apple juice, she was a happy camper.

Here's a picture from before the surgery, I had just put on her hospital clothes. You can tell she's a little wary of everything going on, but Sealy helps her feel better :)

She did a lot of sleeping yesterday and we made her eat slow and light, but this morning she woke up looking and acting like her normal self.

Overall, a successful surgery, and a good trial run for her first hand surgery in September.

Also, we went in on Tuesday to the pediatrician to go over Journey's lab results. She is a little anemic but the doctor thinks that is just from the nutrition she had in Ethiopia and expects that to get better. She was also diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and we got a prescription to help monitor that. And I was able to convince her to write us a referral to a genetics physician. I had requested it and she came in telling me that she doesn't think she needs it, but I had one piece of evidence that even we didn't notice until she had been home a few weeks, and she said we should definitely get her genetics done. Lots of tests and appointments and possible diagnoses to check off, but the pediatrician is very happy with how she is adjusting.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mixed emotions

This week has been busy, this weekend will be crazy, and next week will be full of doctor's appointments!

This week, most of our free time has been spent with our nieces. Their military family is being transferred from Ohio (3.5 hour drive) to Idaho (30 hour drive). Eric's sister and her husband spent the week driving their cars and a moving van across the country, while their girls stayed with Eric's parents. With the distance, we are going to go from seeing them 5 or 6 times a year to hopefully once a year. We're hoping to try to get out there once a year too, but plane tickets for 5 are expensive! I'm sad because I'll miss them, they're great girls, but I'm even more sad for Vivi, who talks about her cousins every single day and loves being with them, no matter what they are doing. So, this week we all soaked up as much time with them as we could. In the morning we'll go over to say goodbye before they get on a plane to fly to their new home in Idaho :(

Softening the blow of saying goodbye to our nieces is that we'll be saying goodbye to them on our way to Ohio to meet up with a bunch of ladies from across the country for the weekend. We met in an online adoption group and eventually a group of us left the main group and started a private facebook group where we could share more and everything would stay private. Over the years, different members of the group have met up, and a couple of years ago was our first Adoption Palooza. I had just joined the group so I did not attend. The economy and people's busy schedules have prevented another palooza from happening until this year. And lucky for me, Ohio is drivable, so we are going! Of the people attending, I've only met 1 other person. The other 2 people I've met from the group have other things going on and can't make it :(. I'm so excited!

And it's a good thing it is in Ohio because my best friend Sam's wedding shower is Saturday night. Palooza was planned first, and I said that nothing would stop me from going, but when I found out that her shower was the same day, I almost cancelled palooza. I wouldn't miss her shower for anything! Eric knew how much I wanted to do both things, and suggested driving up on Saturday during the girls' nap, then I can go to the shower and we can drive back down at bedtime. At first I thought he was crazy, but we're going to try it. Of course if it doesn't work out to go back to Ohio, it's ok, I'll still have gotten a whole day of fun with my adoption friends, and an evening of celebrating my best friend.

With such a crazy weekend, I know it's just going to fly by, but I'm also okay with that because it gets us to Tuesday and Wednesday of next week faster.

We got a phone call from the pediatrician that they got the results of her blood work and wanted us to come in and talk about it. They said it's nothing dire, just something not quite right and it needs to be discussed. Then they said they couldn't get us in for over a week. My curiosity got the best of me and my hero of a husband called the hospital and had them fax him the report. I sent it to a nurse friend, who showed it to a doctor, and my dad sent it to a friend of his who is a doctor. There are a couple of things to monitor, and she'll need more blood work to retest, but we're not expecting anything too alarming. It is also an opportunity to show the pediatrician why we think Journey needs a genetic work up (she has a few markers that suggest she has a genetic syndrome-this was something we were aware of before accepting her referral). I'd like that done sooner than later, just so we know. We do that on Tuesday.

Then Wednesday is Journey's eye procedure. So far I'm not feeling nervous. We knew when we accepted her referral that she would need hand surgery, so I've had plenty of time to prepare myself. This eye thing is a very short, simple procedure. I figure if I can leave her in an orphanage on the other side of the world for 2 months (one of the hardest things I've ever done!), I can entrust her to the very capable hands of the doctors and nurses at Childrens'. We shall see...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Bento, the Japanese art of adorable lunch boxes, is such a fun way to fit in all kinds of healthy foods. I've been doing them for awhile, but usually they aren't as cute because I've had to cut everything into tiny pieces. I use silicone cupcake liners to separate food sometimes and have found ways of packing a lot of food into a little space in an attractive way. But last night I decided to venture out into the real world of bento. We are going to the zoo with Eric's family today, our nieces are here for the week while their parents move to Idaho :(

So, here are our zoo themed bentos. Journey's is a monkey with a bread face, peanut butter and prune features, and a babybel cheese for the ears. Strawberries, black beans, and frozen peas to help keep everything cold on the bottom layer.

Jenavieve's is a hippo in the grass. It's her favorite animal at the zoo :) Babybel hippo, almond eyes and nose, green pepper grass, then almonds, cucumbers, strawberries and a baby plum, and frozen peas to keep it all cold. I hope it looks as cute at lunch time!
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