Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Festivities

As always December was full of festivities leading up to Christmas.
It was chilly picking out our tree so this is how Daddy and Olivia shopped
We had fun spotting friends in the Fort Mill Christmas Parade

We decorated Christmas tress cones with lots of candy and frosting.

Brooks had a preschool Christmas program.
Brooks' big debut didn't go quite as planned.  Poor boy got a horrible case of stage fright and needed rescuing by his mama.

All is better with a sugar cookie

 At home we made a ginger bread house

Pretty sure someone ate more candy than he put on the house

So did this one.  See that guilty face.  It makes it's appearance all too often in our house.

In her true crafty fashion Kyrie loved decorating every inch of the house

Polar Express movie night with a graham cracker train snack

We made Christmas cookies and decorated them with lots of frosting and sprinkles

"Boy" our silly elf made his appearance this year.  He did lots of naughty tricks.

What a fun holiday season we had


Santa didn't go quite as we expected this year.  We thought Olivia would be terrified. 
See for yourself what her reaction was.

I absolutely love how the big kids were watching Olivia and not Santa. It just shows how the "get" how special this Christmas was for our little peanut.

They got their moment to chat with the big guy too.
Brooks' wish: A Lightning McQueen to build
Kyrie: A newborn baby doll
Olivia: Chocolate

Sad I didn't get one of the three on Santa's lap.  I was having camera issues and the whole scene was pure chaos...
Next year!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oma Visit

Oma came for Thanksgiving and we were blessed to have her stay an extra week to help out during Olivia's surgery.

I am not sure how we would have survived the first few days post-op without Oma here to help.  She did the driving, grocery shopping, bed time, cleaning and entertaining.  I was able to fully focus on holding and comforting Olivia.  I realized on Friday, 5 days after the surgery that I hadn't been out of my yoga pants all week.  Thank you Thank you Oma!

Celebrating Olivia's 1st Thanksgiving HOME

Post Op Snuggles

We went through boxes and boxes of frozen Go Gurts

I love these three buds

Oma told everyone to sit down and close their eyes (daddy is peeking)

When they opened them, Oma surprised them with an early Christmas since she won't be with us.
The girls loved their new night gowns to match their babies and Brooks loved his Woody jammies.

Liv looks silly in her new slippers

Kyrie had been eyeing a new outfit and Oma surprised her with it.  Can you tell she liked it?? Olivia got a matching one which made it even more exciting.

The biggest Batman ever!

The kids have never had Oma around for so long and it was great watching them with her.  There were many tears shed when she left.

Daddy Daughter Dance

Kyrie's school had a Winter Wonderland dance.  We decided it would be extra special if she and her daddy went on a date for some good one on one time. 
They both took it very seriously. 
 Kyrie referred to him as her groom and insisted she get ready in the kid bathroom so he wouldn't see her.  We curled her hair and put on a little eye shadow.
Brad bought her flowers and dressed in his finest.  Rumor has it he danced the night away with all of the little girls and they both came home reporting it was a blast. 
I remember going to daddy daughter sock hops with my daddy so it was fun watching Kyrie experience the same thing.

This is so Brooks.  He is just in love with his big sister.  Completely idolizes her.
And I love the way she looks at him.  Such a little mother.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


A Mother's intuition. It's so true. Us mommies know when something is wrong with our babies and we will fight for an answer.  

The first night we were in China I told Brad there seemed to be something wrong with Olivia's breathing. She snored very loudly and even during the day sounded congested and raspy. At that point we felt it could be because China was experiencing some of the worst smog in history. 

We got home and the International pediatrician put her on the first of four antibiotics she would have for a sinus infection.  We were told over and over by pediatricians, ENT, craniofacial docs that she must be like 95% of Asians and have a dairy allergy.  I didn't buy it but, took her off milk products for 6 weeks with no change.  

Finally, at the recommendation of our speech therapist and my persistent mommy intuition we got another opinion from an ENT at a different practice.  I left the appointment in tears. Finally, we had the answer we were looking for. Olivia's breathing issues, congestion and chronic fatigue could be related to tonsils that were practically touching each other as well as enlarged adenoids and severe sleep apnea. He couldn't quite believe that this was overlooked over and over by other doctors. 

Surgery wasn't considered safe until two years so we scheduled it the week after her birthday. 


The Versed meds were supposed to make her sleepy but made her very angry. The pass off was hard for mama and the hour wait was so very long. It felt like such a relief when the doctor came out and told us that she had done well. Her airway was 95% blocked by her tonsils and adenoids. So so thankful that we persisted for answers and that she never got terribly sick. Our adoption process was lightening speed and now it is clear the Lord was protecting our little girl. 

We were greeted in the recovery room by this guy. The nursed dressed up Olivia's favorite friend. 

Nothing felt better than holding this little girl. You know your world has been changed when your heart and mind turn from your own daughter's pain to feelings of gratefulness. I sat there comforting and rocking Olivia and my mind went to orphans who have endured surgeries without the comfort of a mother or father. I am so blessed that I could hold, kiss, rock and make everything better. I can not fathom a child going through a hospital stay alone. But it happens every day. 

Popsicles helped too. 

So did pretending to be a baby and drinking a bottle 

And she sure is enjoying all the snuggles in momma's bed at night. 

Thankful for a momma's intuition, a wonderful surgeon, minimal pain, snuggles and finally breathing without effort.