Friday, August 31, 2012

Palate [before and after]

I wish I had taken a better picture of Grace's palate before her palate repair surgery (16 months ago). I went back in my pictures and was able to blow up this one (sorry for the yucky noses in these pics).

As you can see... there was nothing but a big gaping hole up there.

No wonder everything came of out of her little nose.

and now look!

CAN YOU BELIEVE the difference?!

Look at that perfect little palate.  

Thank you God for giving Grace's doctor the skilled hands to perform Your miracles.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another first day

And they are off...

and I survived.

Both Grace and Devin did great!

Grace cried softly when Braden, Kailey and Devin got on the bus... and the bus left without her.  She thought they left her behind.  Poor girl.

(She asked for her blanket and wiped the tears with the back of her hand).

But then HER bus came.  She hopped on. I buckled her in.  Gave her a kiss.  She waved to me.

and then she was on her way.

Came back smiling 2.5 hours later.

So did Devin.  He was BEAMING really.

Another school year.

and I have a fifth grader.

Second grader.


and a preschooler.

All in the same school.  The ONLY year this will happen in their lives.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Preparing {myself} for "Cool"

Next week, is going to be rough.

I’m just not prepared.

Braden starts his last year of elementary school.

I could swear he was just in preschool.

 (Sept 2005- 3 years old)

Happily carrying his little backpack to preschool, wearing his little size 8 toddler velcro sneaks.  Now he has folders labeled "science", "math", "social studies" and "composition".   I have prepared him that if he needs help with his math homework these year... he better look elsewhere besides me. 

and his feet...they are as big as mine.

Kailey will be in 2nd grade this year. SECOND GRADE!!!!!!

(April 2006 - 2 years old)

Devin starts Kindergarten.

(December 2007 - 12 months)

He will ride a bus to school with Braden and Kailey. This will be the first year he won’t spend at least one day a week with his Grandparents. Because he’s gonna be in school! 

But, oh man, is he so ready to go to school. I keep saying to him… “I can’t believe you are going to school!” …. his response… “Oh Mom, it’s not THAT big of a deal”.

Oh yes it is.

Yes. It. Is.

As if that wasn’t all bad enough…


My not-even-three-year-old baby girl.
(February 2011 - 17 months) 

We be heading off to preschool at the elementary school (instead of our super warm, cuddly, cozy, safe church-based preschool program). She is going to attend our town’s early intervention preschool program where she will get more intensive speech services.

I hope it’s the right choice. I’m still not so sure.

And to make matters worse… she will be riding a little mini-bus there everyday.

That means… I have to put her on the bus. And kiss her goodbye. And watch the bus pull away as it takes my not-even-three year-old baby girl to school.

I think I may seriously need someone there to scoop me off the ground as I fall into a puddle of tears.

I’m pray that this is going to be OK for Grace. That she will somehow understand what is going on.

She knows she is going to school. She has her new monkey backpack. And her new Minnie Mouse lunch box. She even has an "I LOVE Minnie Mouse" folder to put in her backpack.

Every day she asks if today is the day for “Cool” (School). But, I’m not so sure she realizes that when she gets on the bus… I’m not going with her. Or that her security team of Braden, Kailey and Devin will not be in her classroom with her.

But....But.... But.... I say...

She was just sleeping in a crib three weeks ago.

She still wears a pull-up to bed.

She needs her blanket by her side for comfort. 

She is MY BABY! 

I think the transition from baby/toddler to preschooler has been so much more difficult for me this time around.  I think it's cause I missed out on the first 17 months.  Even though I've LOVED her far before I even knew her,  I have only been able to cuddle with her for 18 months... that means I should have another 18 before sending her off to preschool.    Don't ya think?! 

Sigh. I can’t handle it.

Notice I say I can’t handle it. Truth is… SHE is probably going to be just fine.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hearing again

Grace’s needed her ear tubes reinserted a few weeks back.

Boy were we tired of her saying “huh?”
Amazing what those tubes do!

As many/most of you know… the whole ear tube thing, not a big deal. But, it still required us to go outpatient surgery at the children’s hospital. And she was prepped just like she was going for a more major surgery. And the last time that happened…wasn’t too much fun for her.

So, she was apprehensive. And confused why I was bringing her to this place. Again.

Even going to the operating room in a kid’s size version of a pink Cadillac Escalade, with Minnie Mouse riding as a passenger, didn’t really make things that much better.

Then she woke up a few minutes later.

And she had that look. Oh THAT LOOK.

Was she ever mad at me.

She wouldn’t look at me.

Turned her head in the opposite direction.

Silent tears fell down her face.

She wouldn’t let me wipe them.

She wiped them herself with her blanket.

She WOULD NOT look at me.

It was heartbreaking. For me.

But I get it.

I reassured her she was ok and she would be going home soon.
She wasn’t having it. She was furious. And she let me know it.

I took her home a short time later. And happiness returned.

I’m not ashamed to admit I tried to bribe her love back with a donut.

She forgave me. Not sure if it was the donut or that I returned her back home.

I’m sure glad HOME makes her happy. And home to her… it’s wherever her Daddy, Bebe (Braden), Leley (Kailey), and Bubba (Devin) are.

I love that she loves. And grateful she forgave me for bringing her to THAT place.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

See what I mean...

For us, this photo embodies the summer of 2012.

It proves that perhaps Grace… as cute as she is… isn’t always so innocent (but, trust me, neither is the victim).

I will always cherish this picture.  It's Norman Rockwell'esque... so real.... and perfectly captures a moment in time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Before and After

Our adoption agency is looking for before and after pictures.

They have the before in their files.

The grainy picture we received the day we were “matched”.

They are looking for an after.

A picture that embodies the change that we see in our kids when they have a family… health and happiness.

I do wonder though…

A child can smile that is still lost. A child can laugh and giggle that is still hurting. A child can do a lot of pretending… but not fully understand.

I think that pictures don’t always tell the whole story and we need to be careful in painting a false picture.
You know what I mean?

I always feel like I do that a lot on this blog. A read through older posts and feel like it isn’t tell the whole story.

It’s just pictures. Usually happy ones.

And we don’t usually take pictures of the kids fighting. Or being mean. Or sitting around being mopey.

or Mom's and Dad's losing their cool.

You get it.

This summer we have seen things in our kids we don’t like too much. We are working on kindness and that whole “honor your father and mother” thing.

I’ve also seen things in myself that I don’t like so much that I am working on changing.

Sigh. This parenting thing. Just ain’t easy.

Wonder what the before and after pictures look like for the parents?  Gray hair.  Extra 10-20 lbs.  I think I'll stick with the cute kid pictures.