Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Should we tell her?

Common sense tells us that there will be some things in this life that Tavi John will just not be able to do. However, she doesn't have any idea of her limitations... and she never ceases to amaze her mama!

I have told you all about Tavi before. How she was born at 27 weeks gestation. How she weighed under 1 1/2 lbs. How she had 4 blood transfusions. How she is completely blind because of her premature birth. How she has been in an orphanage her whole life, until joining our family almost a month ago. And how I just think the world of this little girl that refused to let the world win! [Thanks to the will of her Heavenly Father!]

She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to RUN! By the time I actually thought to tape this video we had been playing this game for 20 minutes or so... she was getting tired, and a little silly! But oh my, she was just having a ball!

And just in case you are wondering, it's not in fast forward! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthday wishes...

Tired, grouchy, feeling worn down... am I sick? Oh no, wait! It's just my birthday!

I am at the stage in life where going out for a birthday dinner really isn't any easier than making dinner at home! BUT thanks to my mom volunteering to babysit, John and I did have an hour of quiet dining and conversation! It was overdue and very much appreciated! Thanks MOM! [and for the cake too!]

I am working on a post full of honest feelings about adoption, the girls, their special needs, and large families. So if you have any questions I am open to answering about anything! Let me know!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life is continuing to move at a rate that is passing me by, or so it seems. There are only so many hours in a day, and being summer I just can't rouse myself to not sleep in since my 3 youngest like to. During the school year I am up at 5:30 5 days a week, and don't seem to make it to bed before Eleven o'clock or later. So I justify my waking up at 8:30 (or later :) ) by needing to catch up from that time. :)

Tavi is making progress still a little bit everyday. It is finally apparent that she is understanding many things that we say. And she is once again repeating almost everything we say. In fact, when I am trying to teach her to say something like "thank you", I have to be very careful to not say "Say thank you". Or "SAY thank you" is exactly what she says. :)

Yana is crawling from the living room if she is bored, INTO the kitchen! I will look around from washing dishes and THERE she is! :) AND today, for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER she CLAPPED on her own while playing Patty Cake! It may seem like a small thing, but to have a 7 year old, who is like a 10 month old NEVER clap is very noticable to a mommy! AND exactly 3 weeks after leaving the orphanage she IS clapping, or at least starting too! I think that is pretty FANTASTIC!

I admit, I have been a bit down lately. Now it is probably partly due to this whole "post adoption depression" thing I hear about, but I have never been a huge believer in the whole "post whatever" stuff.

I LOVE my life. LOVE my husband. LOVE my kids. But really, I dont' know anyone personally (on line friends excluded) who have large families. And well, lets face it... it's a different life, and it can be an isolating one.

Still, I will pull myself out of this doldrum kind of mindframe long enough to post new pics whic I think are just adorable. And if you will notice, I think Yanas hair is growing and she is filling out a bit. Tavi doesn't seem to be, and she eats a LOT, more than Yana... but she is always GOING too! :) See what you think....

Does she have the sweetest little smile, or what?!

See, she's filling out!

SISTERS by HOLY design...

ok, this ones just cute! She loves finding the cat on her bed... :)

And this one, well I just love this outfit, AND the pants stay up!

Family... by HIS design! I admit, I love the visual differences in my children. Makes me think it's alot like Heaven.

Okay, it's blurry, but dont' you think we are cute?! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Let's eat with Yana....

Let's drink some pop with Tavi...

Tickle fest....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Everythings going pretty well!

Well, the girls have been with me for almost 3 weeks. In a lot of ways it seems sooo much longer :), haven't they always been with me?!

Yana continues to go with the flow. She has figured out that raising her arms is a good way to be picked up by someone! She discovered that playing in the baby pool with mom is really fun! Kicking the water is fun too! And mom discovered she is easily sunburned ;). Also, she likes to dunk her head under. Which is strange because baths are not enjoyable for her. :)

Tavi is doing fantastic!!!! :). ESP the last couple of days. It has taken her a while, but she is now initiating affection, hugging, wanting picked up, wanting all my attention (which I guess isn't all good ;)), and is learning to feed herself a larger variety of foods.

I feel like I have invested so much time and energy into Tavi, that Yana is getting short changed. And one of the hardest things about that is that Yana is always so content with whatever she gets. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.... How true this is right now.

Yana got up an hour before Luke and Tavi this morning so she pretty much had mom all to herself. Hopefully this can happen at least every now and then!

One of the main advantages of a big family is that there is an abundance of attention to go around usually! So Yana is getting a bunch, just maybe not as much of mine. We, or I, are still working on finding a balance that will be good fir everyone.

So as life marches on, these little girls continue to grow, heal, and shine! What a mighty God we serve!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

From a caterpillar to a butterfly.... [warning- picture overload!]

Yana is changing before our eyes. Did the workers at her orphanage ever get to see the real Yana? 7 years waiting to let her light shine... my heart just breaks for the little baby that was never cuddled, then that little toddler who was never comforted, and then that little girl that never happened and no one cared.

Somewhere around 1-2 years my little Yana stopped developing and growing. She stayed a baby/toddler waiting for her chance to spread her wings and let her butterfly spring forth!

It is happening friends. In just over a week as part of a family, it IS happening!

As an example, our little caterpillar, who wouldn't reach for a toy further than 6 inches from her, is now doing climbing!

TAA-DAA!!!! I am so COOL!

And then, she proceeds to overload us with her cuteness and pride in her accomplishment! She was so darned happy!!


Well, the girls had a Dr. visit this week. We didn't do a whole lot, but they checked out fine and healthy all things considered.

Tavi is 38 inches and a whopping 26 lbs! She is SOOO skinny, with pencil legs and a prominent spine. But she eats very well, so I have no doubts she will be looking very healthy in no time.

She continues to improve in her adjustment each day. And I continue to learn how to read her and work with her also. She is so smart. But she likes to get her way, and right now when she doesn't she wants to be alone. I try to sit close and talk to her, but sometimes I just let her sit too.

She goes all over the house. She likes to go outside. Did I mention she is independent and pretty fearless? :)

She does not feed herself much, but will do a cracker or soemthing she can hold in her hand. She will not pick something up on her own to eat, so we are working on that.

Shes been to church and to the grocery store, and she has done great. :) Still lots of hitting, scratching, and fit throwing... but it is lessening!

She continues to prefer me, but is still very friendly and open when she is walking around on her own. If she is being held however she is more interested in staying put.


Yana checked out well at the Drs. too. At 7 years old she is 35 inches and a whopping 25 lbs. :( She has very skinny arms and legs, but her torso has a little weight...

She is engaging more often, crawlign on us if we lay on the floor. She also always has to be touching someone, like in the car she will have her legs stretched to rest on each person beside her. :)

She knows if I say "Mama kiss" then I am going to kiss her cheek and she offers it up without the horrid "Don't touch my head" look! She will go to anyone, but I do believe, and my husband agrees, that she prefers me. :) :)

Sometimes, I do get a little worried about her. She is SO delayed, and when I am not holding her I get to worrying about it. But then I hold her, and love on her, and I just really don't care so much. She is where she is, and we will meet her there. Together we will find where she will be going.... :)


My kids are doing GREAT with their new sisters. It makes me so proud to see my boys love on them. And Quincy is invaluable help! John is continuing to find his way around being their daddy, and they are slowly stealing his heart. :)

Life is going well, SUPER busy, and I feel like all I do is prepare food for someone, and then clean it up only to start again. but hopefully I will find a method that will feed all of us with minimal effort, esp. since I don't enjoy cooking overly much. :)

Pictures will follow later today, or tomorrow. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tavi John...

The eyes are said to be the window to the soul. Did you know that one does not have to be able to "see" out in order for the world to see what lies within?

Have you ever wondered if the eyes of a child who is blind can twinkle?

or sparkle?

or show you the goodness of the soul within?

“I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart.”

I LOVE you Tavi John!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

1 week of freedom....

So.. the girls have been out of the orphanage for a whole week. I am guessing they have had more activity and experienced more new things in this one short week than in the whole rest of their lives. For Yana, being 7, that is quite something to consider.

I am finally feeling almost normal. Jet lag was kicking my butt and winning there for a couple of days. I do believe I woke up feeling almost normal today. :) Praise God! I was starting to get depressed! But I think I am over that now.

What has a week taught me about the girls? What changes am I seeing? How are they doing? What has been easier than expected, what has been harder? How are the other kids, what do they think?


Let's start with Yana.

She is the "easy" one, out of all my kids! :) She is so happy, and content. And is changing quickly!

(meeting Great Grandma!)

Yana still eats mashed food from a bottle. DO NOT attempt to put anything in her mouth otherwise :). She won't have it! But she is eating very well, and just about anything I think of to mash/puree. She holds the bottle and feeds herself, and will hand it to you when she is done. But if you aren't there quick enough she throws it.

She loves to laugh. If someone is laughing so is Yana. We all laugh with her, and that makes her happier. She loves to watch Tavi being silly and laughs and laughs with her

Now, the BIG changes. She is raising her arms when she sees us to be picked up. She is being more vocal more often. AND she is EXPLORING!!!! Last night was the first time she did more than sit up or lay down on her own without encouragement. She was crawling and rolling around the living room. And today Quincy laid down on the floor and Yana immediately laughed and crawled over to lay on her!!!

She is a so sweet, and I don't know how there was any light in my life without her. What a gift that God has blessed this world with!!!!


Now for Tavi John. She is doing better and better each day. She is definitely still adjusting, but then so am I. We are learning about each other as we go.

(do all girls like shoes?)

Tavi is eating very well. She can eat a cracker or bread on her own. She doesn't so much pick up things like cheerios, but prefers to hold a cracker and take bites. She does not chew well, so I feed her soft or mashed food like spaghetti, oatmeal, macaroni, canned fruit, bananas and so on. She seems to have a high palate and sticky breads get stuck up there adn that really upsets her. This might be from sucking her thumb, though she doesn't really suck it, just holds it in her mouth.

(She likes to listen to the dishwasher as it runs.)

She is also sleeping pretty well. She has found she would rather that I hold her instead of lay in her bed. But I hold her and we rock and sing till she gets sleepy then I lay her down. She whines but settles down, and sleeps all night. She even gets off her bed to lay on the floor, and then ends up back on it, and covered up sound asleep. :)

(both girls like the dogs which really surprised me..)

I admit I had some preconceived notions as to what Tavi would be like. Being blind, surely she would be a bit unsure, and protective of her space and physical balance. She is protective of her space, not liking Yana in it uninvited, or extra hands or dog tongues ;)... But she loves to have you spin her around, throw her in the air, do flips or sommersaults and big moves like that. She walks backwards, forwards, sideways, jumps, fall down for "ring around the rosie", and just acts like such a typical child. Which she IS, she's just a typical child who happens to be blind.

She is still learning songs in English. She is learning what words mean slowly. I am trying to be consistent in what I say, but with so many other people in the house, she is hearing a lot of things said differently. She'll get there. She is so bright!

A couple of things I've noticed that I am not sure how to handle just yet are that she hits herself and pulls her hair when she spills something, or runs into something, or gets upset. If she runs into something I will pick her up and say "mama kiss it", and then kiss her ouchie and hold her for a bit. She doesn't cry. :( Even when she should.

The other thing is she is obsessive! If you start a game she likes, or do something she likes she wants you to do it over and over and over and over and over. But as you do it, she will get more wired/hyper. I just haven't figured out her signals for when enough is enough until it is too late. She doesn't self soothe very well, but she will let me hold her and sing or I just lay her in her bed if she really needs to calm down.

She definitely takes more time and attention to keep happy than Yana. That is where having so many siblings comes in handy. :) The kids are very happy to shower them both with attention and love. I have to tell you there are few things sweeter to me right now then seeing my sons lavish their new sisters with love!!!!

These girls have so greatly blessed our family. Gods hands in the specific design of families is solidified in my mind and heart. What a tenderhearted God we serve!

Stay tuned! I am sure I will have much to share. But for now, family calls! And well, I have a combined 11 years of having a mommy to make up for! :)