Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mouthful of Metal


She refused to let me take pictures during though the dentist promised her that many moms do for the scrapbook! Makenna's thinking, my mom does not scrapbook, she blogs for the world to see! hehe! So the fun (bills) begin with teeth in our house.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From a week long cruise to weekend B&B

On our honeymoon we promised a romantic beach trip back to Mexico for our 5th anniversary.

At our 5th anniversary we were building a house so we went to Branson. We promised for our 10th anniversary, we would have our romantic beach trip.

At our 10th anniversary we were building another house and taking care of a child with a ruptured appendix so we spent the day in the hospital. I think we stayed in St Louis for a weekend around that, and we said we would go for our 11th. We went to China instead. SO we PROMISED at our 15th anniversary we would have a romantic week long beach trip.

Then we decided to adopt again in our 14th year which meant we left our children again. Which means we owe them a family vacation and we already told you where that is.

Which means for our 15th anniversary, we will be celebrating in a weekend close to home. But instead of our typical stay in a hotel weekend, we decided to venture out and try a Bed & Breakfast. I do not know what it is, but those have always scared me. So pretty and fancy looking, eating breakfast at a designated time meaning I have to get out of bed when they say, just never appealed to me. But we decided to "walk on the wild side" and try out our first B & B. And this one looks pretty in a not so cheesy way to me. Don't you think? Check it out here if you would like!

Now I know that some NEVER leave their children so the fact that we are not getting our beach trip is not a big deal and probably shudder at the thought that we even consider leaving ours for a week or even a weekend! But my husband was around before our children and will be around after the children have left my house. It is important to us that we show our children that WE are important to each other to. He enjoys to get away with ME only, and if you know all the amazing stuff he does for us, I think you would agree that he deserves these trips. So, I am holding out hope that for our 20th Anniversary, we will celebrate our marriage on a beach, alone. (and not a beach in China or anything!) Till then I suppose a weekend in the middle of nowhere is perfect!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mavery Meets Mia Hope!

You might remember that I have talked about my friend Robin over at Red Thread stitches before. She stitched her way to her daughter in China. She found me, because she had looked at Maverys file! She lives just over the river from me and we often talked through our wait how we could not wait to get our 4 together. Mia Hope and Lauren are both 3. After weeks of cancellations due to sickness on both ends, we finally met today. I realize how much Mavery is really missing being around lots of kids her age. She was SO good and just played so happily with Mia. It was interesting how they did pair off. Sage & Lauren, who have been home 2 years, and then Mia & Mavery. I was so excited with how happy my girls were I invited Robin to just move on in here, to which she happily offered me her children but not her! ha! She also promised me some sewing lessons at her home, so maybe I will actually put my sewing machine to use. She makes the most adorable things and if you have never been by her site, check it out! I realize

that we are very blessed to have them so close by, 2 girls the same age from China, and I hope that we can get the girls together more. Thanks Robin for the gorgeous flowers and for a sweet visit!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

M I C K E Y Mouse Here we come!!!!

Well it is official, we get to take the kids to DISNEY WORLD this year! We are SOOOO excited, and the kids are pretty happy to! ;0) The best part? We are not paying for it(or much anyways). Mark won a big award from work a few months back that could be used to book travel. (yeah Mark!) We will celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, so a cruise for TWO was tempting! But we felt a bit to guilty about that since we have been to China twice in the last few years. It is time to go back to Disney. Last time we went was right after starting our adoption for Sage. Malaine was free at that time, so does not remember much. We were going to wait and go for the little girls 4th birthday(November) till Disney announced FREE dining in the fall. We are going in September while that is going on and will hit Makennas birthday. Meaning she gets a free ticket, or since we have a package and do not need that, we get a free Disney gift card to use in the park that equals the cost of a one day ticket. We are going to be staying at the All Star Music Resort in a family suite, which looks like fun. My parents are going along with us which is a life saver with 5 kids of various ages who will want to go in different directions. Sage is the most excited to meet the princess's and is planning to eat with them and BE a princess. I am not sure Disney will know what hit them once we enter the gates!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sage & Sawyer Hair Issues

We have such opposite hair in this house. Sawyer has more hair than 3 of the girls combined. He always thinks he wants to let it grow out, but it turns into a big bush and just does not work. So we are all happiest when he has his head shaved. And he is not capable of just smiling for a picture, what is it about boys?
Sage has very thin hair. It grows fast, but stays thin. My mother is always on me to cut it. I am not sure if she is convinced this will make it grow faster (it won't) or if she just does not like it straggly, I mean wispy or thin or whatever we want to call it. I do like it shorter, it makes it look thicker. And healthier. And as long as it fits in pigtails, Sage is happy. She is looking older isn't she? Happy Grammy? ;-)

Maverys First Haircut

The first time I took Mavery into get hair cuts with us, she SCREAMED when she heard the razor come on and started grabbing her hair. She was sure she did not want anyone touching her head! (and with good reason as she was so anxious for that buzz to grow out!) But yesterday, 6 months later, she was SOO excited to get up in the chair and get a cut like the rest of the kids! She did great, she really did and was so proud of her cut. (which was really just a trim of her bangs) and a little in the back to even it out. I think she looks younger with her bangs short, and reminds me of when I first met her more. Her cheeks look rounder, if that is possible! I will get a better picture of her soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Maverys Visit

Thank you for all the sweet comments and emails on my last post. I needed that encouragement and it was a true blessing to me.

The appointment went well. I thought the doctor was amazing. Probably helped that she has 4 kids, 3 of them adopted from China. (1 adopted at 4 years old) She is a believer. AND she homeschooled. So, she just gets it.

Some "funny" things that made me laugh.
The therapist saying "Impulsive + Smart = Deadly".
When asking how to deal w/ some of the behavior issues in public, their response "Get a sitter"!

There were 2 doctors in with us. One was the adoption doctor, one was a therapist. We were with them over 2 hours just talking.
They were very impressed with language and said they thought she had amazing articulation for a 3 year old who is just learning english. They thought she was better than most 3 year olds born here and just went on and on about how well she could speak.
They tested her and she did great at all the 3 year old "stuff". Testing such as pointing at objects, stacking blocks, counting, colors etc. She had a whole bag of tricks, but I was not able to pay attention to that so much because the doctor was asking questions. They do not think she is behind at all, which is good. Though that is what I have blamed alot of stuff on. That she acts like a 2 year old.
I gave her a snack while they observed and we were able to talk alot about her food issues. She shovels her food in, fast. They said we need to teach her to slow down, give her just 2 pieces, and count with her as she chews it up. Then give her 2 more. This will help her to not eat so much so that she is full faster. They suggested we get very strict with meal times and snack times. Which I typically am, I am not one to just feed my kids random snacks. Unless we are out. The biggest issue is breakfast. She wakes up starved and screaming for food, so they suggested trying a healthy bedtime snack. She wakes up at least an hour earlier than Sage. So she wants to eat right away, then have a 2nd breakfast with Sage. So I am going to try to make one a snack time for her.
They said that she is showing signs of ADHD. Yikes! Now, before anyone freaks out, we know that she is to young to be labeled with that and no worries, we are not rushing out to medicate her or anything. (though medicating ME, that might be necessary!!, KIDDING, I am kidding) BUT, that has been my concern with her. I did not mention that to them. They could easily tell she has NO attention span at all. And she is hyperactive. She is not capable of sitting still. So they said call it what you will but she does have those symptoms. Some of it is age, some of it is still adjustment. She might grow out of it, she might not. The biggest suggestion they have with this is routine. They said I need to run my home like a boot camp. Schedules, STRICT schedules. And I know that this is true. Mavery is GREAT at bedtime, naptime, mealtimes. When she knows what to expect. It is the free time and when we are going somewhere that we have issues. They said school will be good for her. (she was in a preschool setting at her SWI) They suggested gymnastics to burn off energy.
They also suggested we get her tested for some possible sensory issues. We will meet with an occupational therapist for this. I am a little fuzzy on all that. But they said the screaming (which they got to experience) the food stuff, the repeating over and over (and over and over) could be to do with some sensory stuff. I guess there are exercises they can do with kids to help them basically get themselves under control such as carrying a squeezy ball around. She said something about she might have an under sensitive sensory system? Anways, we will see what the specialist says on that issue.
They stressed the importance of boundaries and enforcing time outs. I have been feeling guilty that she spends so much time in time out! They said that is the right thing to do and encouraged me to keep a diary for myself. So that I can pat myself on the back when I can look and see it went from 2 hours to 45 minutes a day etc. ;-) (and she is not in time out 2 hours a day, just an example.)
They went on and on about how smart she is and how HARD that is for us! WE KNOW! You might remember that the director told us that in China. "Jin Song very smart and very hard to take care of." Oh how I would love to sit down and chat with Mr Jin and compare notes on Ms Mavery!
They were SOOO encouraging to us telling us what a great job we are doing with her. They made ME feel so much better. Just a relief to hear that it is not US doing anything wrong.
The good news was that they thought she seemed very attached to us. I had worried maybe there were some attachment issues but they both agreed she seems to have a healthy attachment. They said they see some kids that are to attached and then the other end of not attaching. We are glad that we are doing well in that area.
They were very big on making sure that we are getting out for date nights, me leaving the house alone, having time away. Which we are getting better about.
We know, and they reminded us, 6 months is not that long since she came home. We realize that. BUT, we just want to stay on top of these issues. And on top of our sanity! I am not sure what it was, maybe all of you praying for us, or maybe the relief of hearing the doctor tell me I am not failing her, but Mavery was so much better today! Or maybe it was ME who was better. Instead it was Sage who spent the day in time out. Mavery kept telling me, "I listen, Sagey not listen to you".
So hopefully I can now catch up on everything else I have to blog about. Mavery got her first haircut last night! (& I am back to my natural color which makes Mark so happy) We have a vacation booked and we can't wait! We are doing some home construction to make room for Mavery getting a bedroom. Preschool, homeschool, another child being tested for stuff. Recipes I promised to post, videos I want to get up. Updates on how I am losing the biggest loser contest, BUT my new resolve to walk to turn into running. The preemie baby I had asked for prayer for still needs prayer, he has a staph infection. And I am in need of some decorating help so hoping that someone who reads my blog is going to help me out when I post some house pictures. I get to go on a girls MOPS retreat this weekend. Thinking about going to women of faith, anyone been? Steven Curtis Chapman and Lisa Welchel will both be there, I adore them! Just keep bugging me to play catch up, I need the nudge!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mavery Musings & things no one told me

No one told me that my new daughter might prove to have a difficult personality.

No one told me, that life as I knew it was going to be turned upside down.

No one told me that while I might be madly in love with my new daughter, I might not always LIKE her.

No one told me that there might come a point where I would find myself at a loss on how to parent this new child.

And you know the thing is, even if anyone had told me, I would not have believed it, nor could I really understand it. Till I walked through it all myself. But to be honest, I have read many blogs, and not many of them talk about things being hard. Are we all guilty of that? Do we paint this picture that all is so perfect and happy and refuse to open that window to let anyone see REAL life? I wish more would. I wish that during these months I knew I was not alone in my feelings.

Mavery has done REALLY well. She has come a long way in these 6 months. If you read my post on her blog, you can see some of the amazing ways she has changed. But we are still working through some issues. And overall, it is not like they are HUGE things, but they do wear on me, I am not going to lie. I am sure it is the combination of things. Not hardly leaving the house, dealing with 2 toddlers day in and out, not being able to get anything done, I am sure you get the idea.

Tomorrow we are going to the adoption clinic for a "behavior evaluation", our social worker suggested we go this route. We assume that her behavior is normal, but we are at a loss on how to deal with it. She is VERY jealous of Sage. If Sage gets medicine, or a drink, or in trouble or her nose wiped and you do not do the same for Mavery, be prepared. You might get a simple temper tantrum. (and when I say simple, I am being sarcastic) you might get spit at, you might get your floor peed on.
She does not talk, she yells. Riding in the car about gives me a nervous breakdown because she screams sometimes an entire 60 minute round trip ride to school. Thankfully this is getting better, MUCH better and just happens every once in awhile now. She has no patience, and if she demands something, you have about 10 seconds to respond or watch out. She does not sit, for anything. To read, color, not a thing. She moves non stop. Like I said, it might all be very normal for a 3 year old, but I am struggling with how to deal with it and how to help the rest of the children deal with it.

We had her speech evaluated on Friday and she tested at a 2 year old level. Which I think probably proves some of this behavior, which is typical 2 year old stuff. The speech therapist actually thought she was doing well overall and we hope to avoid therapy by working on some specific sounds and letters over the summer.

So, I am anxious to meet with the doctor tomorrow and get some advice. It is hard to find a balance, you are still trying to build a bond with this child, while teaching her boundaries and to live in a family.

We deeply love Mavery and we know that God has given her to us as a gift. We will do whatever it takes to help us all work through the frustrations. We know that in another 6 months, this time of challenge will probably be just a memory and we will look back and laugh! We ask that you pray for us as we listen and learn and that God will give us an extra dose of patience!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter Day 2009

We had a fun Easter Day, despite it being chilly outside again this year. At least we did not have snow! You know I wanted to take up sewing and never did. Well my cousin Amy has been working hard and she made her girls dresses, aren't they adorable? (the pink and brown) Makes me think I need to keep on trying! (especially since Mark bought me the machine and all!!)

Egg Hunt

Jenny planned another fun egg hunt this year for our church and town. It was a beatiful day and the kids had alot of fun. Not alot of pictures because we had one camera and the kids were divided by age. Sage was so funny. At our home egg hunt the day before, Makenna assigned each child a color, which they all did great with. Well Sage was pink and so at the church egg hunt she would only find the pink eggs. Even when everyone tried to convince her otherwise, she still insisted on pink, with a few purple. Such a girly girl!

Getting Ready for Easter

We were able to spend a few days with my nephew Graham over spring break. The kids had fun coloring eggs. I probably should not admit that I took the easy way out and we did this during the little girls nap time. I felt guilty for about 20 seconds. They never knew they missed it.

Makenna is always so creative and had a full easter party planned out for one day. She used an idea that Malaine made at school one day which was to make birds nests out of rice krispie treats. Add chocolate eggs and a peep in the shape of a chick.

She also did an egg hunt, told the Easter story using Resurrection eggs and made a craft. Such a fun big sister!

Friday, April 17, 2009

6 month update on Mavery!

I added Maverys 6 month picture on her blog over at

I have some updates on her that I want to add on this blog, when I can find time to get back to blogging. When I DO finally sit down and update, it will take a month to read it all. So crazy around here. I hope that I can do that soon. I WANT to do that soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I hope to post more pictures this week, but wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter! I pray you had a wonderful day celebrating the reason we LIVE!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hair Affair

We were all excited to see this double rainbow out our door recently! AND someone who is REALLY excited at our house is Ms Mavery who finally has some pigtails! Oh she has waited for such a long time to be able to do this and while they are still short, they are getting there, don't you think? Can you tell how thick her hair is? I now get why they shaved it, it is not easy to keep it under control. Can't wait to see what it is like once it gets long, seems to be taking a long time. I have not cut it at all, and thankfully it is growing out in a cute "style".