Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Little Beauty

While the big kids were at school Olivia and I had a fun little impromtu photoshoot.  She is growing so fast and I want to capture each second.  This is Olivia at 16 months.

Brooks picked this lovie out for Olivia just after we received her referral. She has grown very attached to it.


A New Normal?

Baby girl is 16 months old as of two days ago and we have had her in our arms just shy of 2 months.  Dare I say we have started a new normal?
Things around here are starting to feel "right" and I am no longer afraid that the ball will drop at any second.  Big brother is back to his happy, sweet and snugly self.  Of course he has his 3 year old moments where he pulls someones hair or throws a tantrum over not getting his way but, his smiles and giggles are back.  Seeing this makes me realize just how much he was struggling those first few weeks.

Love his concentration as he paints his car
And Olivia painted herself..... ( you don't even want to know what Brad's neat freak reaction was when he walked into this disaster)
Kyrie continues to amaze us with her love for her sister.  She has not once acted in jealousy.  Has always accepted it when mommy couldn't put her to bed or had to take a moment to break from listening to her practice reading to tend to her sister.  She understands when Olivia needs my lap or I can't get her a drink right away in the morning because Olivia needs me to feed her a bottle.  We are still working on boundaries regarding picking up her sister but, I honestly think she can't help it.  She just loves her so much she can't keep her hands to herself.  One of Kyrie's greatest joys is picking out Olivia's clothes each morning right down to matching socks and hair accessories.  God certainly designed her to be a big sister.  I am so thankful once again for our decision to do TK this year.  Kyrie has had many more hours in her day to bond with Olivia and these moments have been so precious.

Olivia is now on some sort of schedule.  She takes a morning nap, often in the car on the way home from preschool.  On Sunday she naps in the ergo during the sermon.  Did I mention what an easy going child she is.  God knew what I needed.  I couldn't have handled another one who thrived as much on a strict schedule as my other two.  She then naps in the afternoon while Kyrie has quiet time and Brooks naps.  I usually enjoy 45 min to an hour of blissful quiet.  Then, by 7:30 all three are tucked snug in their beds and usually no one stirs until 6 or 6:30.  (**This is on a good night.  I will say we still have random nights where she cries her sad grieving cry.)  Boy have we come a long way in 2 months!

Olivia continues to amaze us with her attachment.  She is growing so much more secure.  I can now run for 30 minutes on the treadmill while she plays in the basement and never once does she fuss for me to pick her up.  Today I had to run outside to move the kids bikes in before it rained and she didn't scream when she saw me leave.  She is accepting Brad more and more each day and allowing him to participate in diaper changes, bathing and feeding.  He has put her to bed once but, she really struggled with that and we have decided to let that go for now and focus on what she is comfortable with. 

When she first came home, Olivia was named "hurricane".  This was because she got into EVERYTHING.  She still does but, its so much better.  She is not only learning boundaries but, she now has purposeful play skills which occupy her time and keep her out of trouble.  She loves to stack blocks, play musical instruments, hammer, dance and is now interested in feeding and rocking her babies (big sis couldn't be happier). 

To me this picture speaks volumes.  She used to look at a baby and throw it.  Now, she cuddles, kisses and talks to her dolls.  She is learning what it means to be a mommy.

Our love continues to grow deeper and deeper each day for this precious gift.  I truly can't remember life without her.  God designed her perfectly for our family.  She has a fiery temper, a loving heart and she is louder than loud just like the rest of our crew.  We are thankful each day for the gift that she is to us. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Happy Ending to a Rough Week

Thank you for those that have been praying for us this week.  We have felt the prayers.  Our sweet guy is doing so much better but, as I have told many of you we are taking it all minute by minute.  I had the opportunity to enjoy a mommy son date with him this morning and he was very proud to start soccer last night.  His spirits are most definitely raised and on Thursday I heard him tell Olivia "I love you" for the very first time.

 Feeling a little shy at first but, daddy was to the rescue

So thankful she loves the Ergo.  It makes 3 days of soccer a week much more manageable.

We continue to notice amazing changes in our newest princess each day.  I wanted to do a quick update so I don't forget all of the small things we have noticed recently.

- At Kyrie's soccer practice Olivia noticed her daddy from across the field and waved "hi dada".  So amazing since we drove separately and she noticed him from a distance and out of context of home.

- At the same practice she was playing a bit away from me and a stranger got too near so she ran to me with arms up to be held!  HUGE attachment progress!

- She now clearly says "All done" at the end of a meal rather than whining.  Also, sometimes isn't in the mood to eat which is so normal for a toddler.

- Mostly sleeps through the night with an occasional need for a quick pat on the back.  Bummer is she is waking up at 5-5:30am.

- Had a kidney ultrasound this week and all was normal!  Huge praise.  Sometime there are kidney issues with microtia.  On a side note she was a total celebrity at the hospital and waved to everyone.  The nurses thought she was the cutest thing ever and I have to agree.  Poor girl was so traumatized she shut down and slept for 1.5 hrs after.

-Woke up after nap this morning and I had left with Brooks.  She was FINE with her daddy!

- When she is upset she cries "mama mama mama" over and over.  I never thought those sounds would be so beautiful.

Playing with silly Brooks and Ky who were in the pack n play
 Some of our sweet friends with Willette's gave Liv this purse.  They didn't even know about the symbols of lady bugs and China adoption. So so perfect and she LOVES it!
 Love how Ky's mouth is open too

And here are some photos of my beauties playing in their outfits from my talented friend Amy at Stitching Barefoot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


This week I have been forced to learn about Grace and it has revealed a lot about myself that I don't necessarily feel to graceful about.  I am selfish, I crave "me time", I love sleep and I like quiet and routine.  Those aren't things you get a lot of with three small children. 

It started last Tuesday when Brooks came home from school with a headache which quickly turned to a flu like virus.  Within a day the virus hit Kyrie.  Sick kids mixed with a non-sleeping toddler who terrorizes the house during the day equaled one mom who was stretched very thin.  The weekend came and some relief came as daddy helped but, when kids are sick they want mom.  Guilt set in as I had to pass over some duties of caring for the sickies that I would normally take care of.  Olivia is still not okay with daddy caring for her.  He is a play mate at this point and that is is.  This means I still have sole night duty with her and therefore daddy took care of the big kids at night. 

This was the scene at our house for 6 days.  Notice the baracade to keep Olivia away from the sickies.

On top of that, my best friend came to town on Saturday with her beautiful baby girl.  This was most certainly for pleasure but also because Brad was taking his first business trip since we brought Olivia home and Jes was here to offer company.  Unfortunately mixed with sickness and a 3.5 year old that is not handling having a new sister as well as we hoped the timing wasn't so perfect.  Brooks regressed about 10 steps backward and his adjustment into big brother role.  He became very angry and was easily set into rages.  I tried to have patience and grace but, it was certainly a challenge.  So thankful for a forgiving friend who validated my parenting through some of the toughest times as a mom I have ever faced. 

Sweet babies, future BFF's set for a walk on the greenway
 He really does love his little sis

Muffins with mommy singing and dancing

 Poor boy being carried off by his teacher.  His little heart just couldn't sing today.  He did give me a private show at the park later in the morning.
 My 3 babies.  Brooks was not feeling like a picture today.

Our pastor David Chadwick always says kids spell love T-I-M-E.  I believe this is truth.  So today I chose time.  Today I am thankful for prayer, a mom who will listen to be vent and for the sweet friend who brought me a bottle of wine to school.  I know this time will pass I just pray it is soon.  I sure do miss my happy little man. 

***I struggled with whether or not to post this.  I never want Brooks to look back on this and be embarrased or ashamed.  However, this blog is a way for me to remember these times and I know some day what we are struggling with now will be a distant memory.  The adoption community has been such a support to me through our journey and if my story of our struggles helps another mom, it is all worth it.