Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My next baby is growing up

I have one off to college with the second one close at his heels. My daughter Katie is about ready to graduate and in a few short months head off to college. Right now she is planning to pursue Pharmacy. She just had her senior pictures taken this weekend and now we have a disc of 109 pictures that we need to narrow down to about 5! This is not gonna be easy. Here are a few of MY favorites....(which aren't necessarily her favorites or her fathers....**sigh**)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Crud! I have been tagged by my cyber buddy Lee-Anne from Australia. That means I have to list 6 weird or unknown things about myself. Shouldn't be too hard since I am pretty weird.

1. I hate onions. Can't stand them. Don't like them raw or cooked in anything. Will pick them out or skip whatever dish they are in. Can smell them a mile away. YUCK. But- I like onion rings.

2. I have two great fears. I am scared of heights. Not "I hate flying" scared but don't put me on a ladder, in a hay mow, on a roof, on a water slide etc. scared. I also hate snakes. Can't stand the creatures. Who knew the property we bought 4 years ago with a woods, pond and creek would be a haven for snakes-DUH YOU IDIOT! Okay, okay I am a blonde-naturally and clear to the root.

3. I LOVE roller coasters. The bigger the better. See part a of #2. Does this make any sense?

4. I am a steak and potato girl. Should have been born a man. Skip the veggies. Bring me a big old steak-medium rare and we are good to go. Yum!

5. I used to raise sheep. When I was a kid I raised sheep. Then while raising my two older kids we raised sheep for 4-H. There was more than once that I had to help deliver lambs and had my hands and arms inside a ewe trying to help pull her lamb out. So, blood and ooze and other fluids do not bother me in the least. Bring it on.

6. Found out with my third child that my uterus had a wall dividing it. Probably the reason why my first child was 10 weeks premature. My third was a C-section and that was when the doctor discovered it. So we concluded that one side of the wall was the 3 pound side (size of my son when born) and the other side was the 6 lb. 12 oz. side because both of my daughters weighed the exact same amount and were both 18 inches long.

There ya go. 6 odd facts about me. Now to make it cute here are a couple pics....

PS: Lee-Anne -your package is going out tomorrow so save room for my quilt square. :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Photo session with Mom

While trying to get that perfect photo for our adoption announcement....Olivia is not amused. She does not like the camera. I had to bribe her with jelly beans and crackers. In one picture she is even signing cracker!! Here are some of the out takes.

Olivia's First Easter

Big sis Morgan wanted to hide eggs for Olivia on her first Easter with us. It didn't take long for Olivia to figure out what she was suppose to do with them.

Referral age

My son Evan came home from college this weekend to meet his little sister for the first time. Now he will be home for good in three weeks and he had to make a 14 hour trip home for a short 3 day weekend just to meet her. I encouraged him to wait but he couldn't do it. He had to come home and see Olivia. Now, something about Evan that you should know is that he is like the Pied Piper when it comes to children. They love him. They are naturally drawn to him and he loves them in return. Well, when he got home, it took only 5 minutes for Olivia to decide that Evan was going to be her favorite person. When mom is holding her and Evan walks by, mom becomes chopped liver.

Well, now to my point, when Evan was playing with her one day, he made the comment that he was really glad that she was older and not the baby that we had originally hoped for. That got me thinking about referral age again. I had actually gone almost a month without thinking about referral age.

When we started the process I was open to any age. I had asked my husband what age he was interested in. He said, "As young as possible, for bonding purposes." So that is what we asked for. That is what I put in my heart and my head, that is what I dreamed about for over a year. That is what all my sister travel mates were had asked for and were expecting. I saw familes get referrals of babies 6 months to 12 months old. Oh, I hoped for one of the 6 month olds but prepared for a 12-14 month old and told myself that would be okay too. Then the wonderful day came when our referral was here. I waited and held my breath for the information to be given to me about our precious daughter. He said "She is beautiful." He said "She has hair." He said, "Let's see, she is 17 months old." WHAT??? I asked in a whisper, "It can't be." I was shocked, I was stunned. I held the tears back. He gave me her birthday. He told me she could walk, she had 20 teeth, she could go up and down stairs, she could say MAMA. As he read off all the things that he thought we accomplishments to me they were all firsts that I would miss. They were all disappointments. I got off the phone and my family who were all standing in the other room waiting for the information (not so patiently) started questioning me. Before I could answer the tears that I had been holding in started to fall. I cried. Then I was mad at myself and I cried some more. I cried because I didn't want my daughter to ever know that I cried from disappointment on the day that I found out about her. Then with I realized HE messed up. She wasn't 17 months old she was 19 months old. For some reason that two extra months hurt even more.

While the rest of my travel mates were joyfully announcing their referrals I didn't even want to announce mine. I knew everyone would feel sorry for me. I knew I would feel sorry for someone in my place. I was envious of all the younger babies. I continued to be envious of the younger baby famlies. Even though I loved our Olivia when I saw her picture. I loved her and longed to hold her while waiting to travel to get her. I cried when I went into her room and packed up all the " baby" things I had aquired while waiting. I never wished for a different child but I mourned for the time that I had already missed with her. I will admit I was envious of the my travel mate families that were getting babies while we were in China. I can't say there was a climatic moment when my feelings changed but on "Gotcha Day" when they handed my sweet, little, terrified Olivia to me none of it mattered anymore. The motherly instint took over. I wouldn't have cared if she was 6 months or 5 years old. My job was to comfort her, mother her and take care of her. I never thought again about the "baby" that I didn't get. Not until Evan mentioned that he was glad that Olivia was older. I may not get the attention that I would if I had a baby but it doesn't matter. I have to agree with Evan, I think having an almost two year old has been more fun. She is so engaging. She is delightful. She is animated. She is mischevious. She is snuggly. She is funny. She is inquisitive. She is always watching and learning. She is our Olivia.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Three Weeks Home

Well today we have been home for three weeks. Things have been going better for Olivia than for me. After getting home I had issues with ear infections and jet lag. Last week I spent Spring Break on the couch with Bronchitis and this week my doctor declared "Well, you now have pneumonia." Perfect, just perfect! I am sick of being sick!

Olivia had her first doctor's appointment on Monday. She weighed in at a whopping 18 pounds! WOW! In China they told us she weighed 20 pounds and we are sure she has gained weight since we have had her, so that means she actually weighed less than 18 pounds in China. Just a little peanut! My 6 month old nephew weighs the same as Olivia! She is 31 inches tall. That puts her in about the 3 percentile in the american charts and her weight does not even come close to the charts. Our doctor however does not seem concerned. He says she is just a tiny thing, but looks healthy. He gave us permission to "be as strong willed" as she is when it comes to food issues. Since she refuses to eat much besides rice and ramen noodles, he said we are going to have to train her to aquire a taste for other foods and it was okay to let her go hungry if she refused to eat. That was how I treated my other kids, but I needed to get his permission after getting the "clean bill of health" stamp and the "she is not mal-nutritioned" lecture. He also said her hemoglobin was great. He was really impressed with her all around. He said she was a lot less delayed than he expected and he said she will progress with leaps and bounds. That was great to hear.

I, even with the pneumonia diagnosis (don't tell my doc), started back to work this week. So Olivia got to experience a babysitter for two hours a day. She has done terrific. I had not left her at all since we have gotten her so I was really worried. Two days this week we had a teenager come here and actually when Sahara left today Olivia acted like she did not want her to leave. One day a week, she goes to the neighbors. At first she seemed a little worried that I was leaving her, but was quickly distracted. Jenny said she did great then. She played and when they went shopping, she did super. So, if this week is any indication, it looks like Ollie is going to do great. Thankfully, when Mommy gets home she gets super excited and dances around or mom might be a little put out. :(

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Rainy Afternoon with Daddy

Daddy got rained out and had the afternoon off. So he came home early and Olivia decided to play a game a wrestle. I think she is the winner.