Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vacation Done, School Begun

Yep, my last post was 4 weeks ago. What have we been doing? The lake has been tops on the list, but we've had a little head lice, bat murder, school starting action as well. Yes, you read that right. Just to clarify and avoid America's Most Wanted, that would be the brutal killing of a bat (hairy, flying mammal) not a murder in which the weapon was a baseball bat.

So, the lake. First it was Lake Maxinkuckee in northern Indiana. We (girlfriends and I and kids) have escaped the suburbs for Sarah's family cottage for the past 6 years for a week of every summer. This year we let the hubbies come for the first couple of days. Then we sent them home - just in time for an 11:30pm appearance of Mr. Bat.

There were 5 women with 5 unlikely weapons (a laundry basket, a swimming noodle, a broom, a towel, and a cover-up), 10 sleeping children, and 1 very ugly bat. I had no idea bats were so disgusting until I had to tangle with one. Oh, and there was a video camera too! Sarah caught the final act of violence on tape for the world to see. Needless to say, I was given the title of Bat Slayer and I don't even feel bad about it. That's just how ugly they are. I don't even care that they eat mosquitoes. Seriously.

The next lake was my parent's place in northern MN. Lovely weather and warm water were highlights here. Cousin time was plentiful and my kids caught fish and swam like fish. Sophia, the trooper, loved the water wherever we went! No fear at all, and that's probably not awesome when you don't know how to swim. Hopefully by next summer we'll be able to let her actually walk off the dock!

Back in mid-July, most of the family had head lice, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Thank you, summer camp, for sharing such an enlightening experience. I can't believe how much I learned. Seriously, lice are a pain, but on the up-side, I got to spend hours and hours with my kids as I peered through their very thick hair. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Roux for helping us with that mess.

Finally, yesterday my kids went back to school. "WHAT! how can it be? Is it that time already?" you're thinking. No, actually it isn't. School starts in the middle of summer in Indiana - August 11. Just because school started, doesn't mean it should have. We are surviving, but just barely. The 95 degree days has me convinced that there is something wrong with this system.

Sophia is adjusting back to routine. She's crabby a lot right now, which is probably our own fault for messing with said routine so very much lately. She continues to be particularly fond of me and would prefer to always have my undivided attention. As we are not supposed to isolate her (like put her in her room/crib) due to possible abandonment issues, we are looking for creative ways to eliminate whining and promote independent play. Any ideas? Share, please!

In this photo of her and Marcus, it's pretty clear how she feels about the start of school. I get it, Sophia. I get it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa Roux In Town

This past weekend was full of fun. One of my students from Summer Project a couple of years back got married here in Indy. The whole family traveled that summer with SWERVE and loved Lindsey. It was very fun to celebrate with her and Cody as they started their lives together! Here's the family all gussied up...

We also had our street over for a cookout. We have fantastic neighbors.

I have been meaning to include some video of some current Sophia action for a while. Here we have two different episodes in one video. First we have Sophia imitating our Summer Project vocalists. She watched enough rehearsals to know what a microphone is and how she would use it. She also is working on her stage presence and gestures. She even makes very cute use of a prop on this living room stage. You'll see a special appearance by "Blanket" and "Plastic Bacon".

The second part of this clip is one crazy morning of randomness. We weren't sure what was going on, but Sophia had a need to move and groove and laugh and talk. You'll see a little of what we see all the time in our sweet Sophia personality. What a fun kid!

Also, David's folks are in town. It's great having them. Today, Fran, the kids, and I took in Sahm's Park Pool for some relief from the 90 degrees. Fran even went down the crazy tube waterslide (after much coaxing by Lauren). Tomorrow, after Marcus' football camp (he's in heaven), we might take in the Children's Museum or shoot B.B. guns. We'll see who wins!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Half Birthday Sophia and Happy 234th Birthday USA

Yep, Sophia's half birthday is on July 4th! As we didn't get to celebrate with her on her 1st birthday (we got her 2 weeks after she turned 1), we are thinking we might have to do it up a bit. And this is her first Independence Day as an American citizen also, so we've got a lot to celebrate! We'll see what I can come up with.

We've celebrated Marcus's 8th birthday this past week with the "Water Battle Birthday Bash." We're also getting ready to send our four project bands out on the road. Their dress rehearsals are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings in Westfield, IN. It is already July - how did that happen? The kids start school in about 5 weeks. Not cool, at all. And my sister is going to have her baby! - probably on Monday. Woohoo! You can do it Nikole.

Overall we've been terribly busy, although we've been home much more over the past week. I've actually contemplated reading a book. I haven't actually done it, but I got as far as checking a couple out at the library. Maybe I'll get there. Lauren finished her first old-school Nancy Drew mystery (that's a tribute to you, mom/Grandma Zellmann). And I have been forcing Marcus to read too. He thinks I'm a tyrant.

Another fun thing going on is actually happening in my friend Amy's life. She and her husband Trent are beginning the adoption of some babies from Africa. I totally get how daunting that all is! If you could pray for Trent and Amy, that would be fabulous. To raise funds for the blessings, Amy, a creative jewelry maker, is launching a new line of her cool silver solder necklaces. Look her up here! If you're in the Indy area and would like to host a show in your home or office, she'd love to accommodate!

Have a fabulous 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Poop on the living room floor

Yep, she did that. I had to run to the backroom for wipes. I was gone for almost no time. Upon arrival back in the living room, I found Sophia in the squat position next to the love seat. Jokingly, I said, "You better not be pooping over there, Sophia!" Well, when I picked her up, there was a golf ball sized carpet deposit! Thanks, honey. Seriously, why do people own dogs?

This week at the Roux house, we are spending a lot of time at Keynote hanging out with students. I really like college students. They make me laugh, I learn things from them, and I think God just made me to like them. I love to see how their lives change. It seems like college students are in the perfect place to grow and change and revolutionize their worlds. Over the weekend, the whole family went on the "Story Retreat" which was a 24 hour time to get away with the students who would be sharing their stories this summer. Tess was one of the students that came with us to hang out with Sophia while David and I worked. Sophia loved playing by the little lake, swinging on the baby swing, and eventually really warmed up to Tess.

Anyone in the Indianapolis area July 4, 5, or 6, join us for the students' dress rehearsals. They will head out on the road for the following 2 1/2 weeks, but these shows get them ready to go. I will post more on that later.

Father's Day was busy. Poor David didn't have a moment to put his feet up all day! He is a really great dad though. We'll have to properly celebrate him some other day! Here's the 2010 Father's Day card:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Fun

Our life is so full now, but full of such fun things that I must tell you about them! Yesterday I met some friends and their kids for some time in the park at a spray ground. The water was nice as it has been toasty in Indiana. Sophia would stand near the holes in the cement that periodically spout water just minding her own business. Then the water would spurt into the air all old faithful like and she'd cover her head and look offended. It was very cute actually. Poor kid, at least 5 other mommies were getting a laugh out of how adorable this routine was. She eventually became accustomed to the ordeal and enjoyed it almost as much as the spectators.

After an hour of playing in the park, the adjoining creek was discovered. We've had a plethora of rain lately so all the creeks and rivers are running fast and full. How fun was this! I tried hard not to think of the snakes that could be slithering in and out of the stream. The kids loved exploring the banks and islands and "rapids." Sophia desperately wanted to be in with the big kids, but this picture shows how close she got.

Over the past week I've been collecting some video to share. Here's a sampling of a very giggly girl! Her laugh is catchy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sophia's first trip to the pool

When we got to the YMCA this afternoon, the sun was shining and it was 92 degrees! Perfect pool weather. We lugged our big bag of "necessities" to an open lounger and put the swim diaper on. Lauren and her friends Cana and Regan were very excited to introduce Sophia to the 0 depth kiddie extravaganza. You can see by these photos that she was not scared or timid about the whole encounter! I really think she could have spent all day exploring the sprinklers, the fountains and just how deep she could go and still lay down on her tummy. Thankfully she didn't freak out when she misjudged this a bit and got a mouthful of pool water!

Within 15 minutes of our arrival, the clouds rolled in and the sky got dark and the wind picked up. Everyone began to leave the pool, but not us! We stayed until the thunder was heard and we were chased to the indoor pool. We had to get a couple more photos!

Sophia was completely happy inside, as well. This girl likes water a lot! Every time we had to get out for some reason she would reach longingly for the edge.! I have another Marcus on my hands. She doesn't have a clue how dangerous the water is, but instead, thinks the pool is her new best friend. Already twice, I caught her going under the water for a second , as happy as can be. No sitting around on the edge of the pool reading magazines for mommy this summer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another Visit to Dr. Sadove - 2 months out

On Monday we saw the good surgeon for another follow up visit. He looked at Sophia and said, "she sure is cute, but I'm not really satisfied with my results." Honestly, we were expecting this. We aren't entirely satisfied either - or at least we had expectations that it would look even better than it does. It's been hard to know though, because my expectations typically get me in trouble.

She sure is a cutie though. He and we expected the lip to be smoother, without the mildly off center notch (coincidentally, or not, right beneath the spot where she developed her hole a while back which has closed completely thank the Lord.) I believe our surgeon's desire to get it perfect would have Sophia in surgery within the year, but we are going to wait to determine that until the fall once all the redness and healing is completely done. Previously, we anticipated waiting until she was 4-5 year old to do a second surgery, which still may be the case, but we will see. Yet again, a good lesson in 'it's good to hold things loosely'.

Besides all this Sophia is doing fine. She is comfortable going up and down the stairs, is attempting a lot of words (still not quite accomplishing very many, but it's cute to see her try!), and is generally communicating really effectively. Yesterday we were playing on the floor and I asked her if she wanted to go "nigh-nigh." She nodded her head, got up from the floor, picked up her blanket and walked down the hallway. What a good kid! On that note, she is an excellent sleeper, both at night and for her 2 naps every day. She doesn't make a peep when we lay her down and generally wakes up happy, playing in her crib. We are some very lucky old parents. The no-sleep thing would have been hard to readjust to after years of big kids. Our friends who adopted a little guy, Ethan, when we did are struggling a ton with getting him to sleep, so we are definitely counting our blessings!

Today is Lauren and Marcus' last day of school! What a wonderful feeling - no more homework. Marcus will be in 3rd next fall and Lauren moves up to intermediate school as a 5th grader! The goals for the summer: teach them to do their own laundry and get them to read every day. Does anyone have any tricks or good reward ideas?

In the mean time, David and I are very busy getting ready for students to come for our summer mission project at Keynote (where we work). Crazy yet fun all at the same time!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sophia is getting molars?

The drooler, code for Sophia, is at it again. She is cutting teeth. She currently has 2 on the bottom and 2 on top, so we've been keeping our eyes on the next 2 on the bottom - they look like they are on the verge. Well, at supper tonight, David said he thought he felt something a little further back. I stuck my finger in to her reluctant mouth and proceeded to get bit! from the top and the bottom! Sure enough, she has all 4 of some big teeth on the sides. This is not the normal order, so I am not sure what's up. I'll be investigating this tomorrow with my friend Angie, the hygienist who's coming for lunch. No wonder she does such a good job chewing meat. Who knew?

Things are going great here at the Roux house. Sorry I've been so lax in blogging. A lot of fun stuff's happening, but we've been rather busy. There are 8 more days of school left (woohoo!) and the kids are feeling the itch to be done. Sophia experienced her first campfire on Friday with some good friends. No camping, as sleeping outside isn't my favorite without a 1 year old. That will have to wait a couple years. She loves to be outside and she loves s'mores so she had a blast.

Sophia enjoys the stairs. She likes to go up and down and sit on them and walk really close to the edge of them. She has the most experience with the carpeted, inside ones, but today she was all about the cement front steps (In my brain I have visions of a bloody lip, a screaming baby, and a trip to the ER where they tell me I'll just have to let it heal again.) She wiggles in my arms and attempts to launch herself out of my grasp if I attempt to carry her up or down stairs.

Right now, some of her favorite things: music and scrolling pictures on the lap top, her stuffed puppy, and "winking" (very cute 2 eyed squint with a .2 second grin). Her lip is healing. She is a touch asymmetrical and there is still a bit of a scab where the hole used to be, but otherwise, she is starting to look pretty good. I included a close up photo so you could see the progress. Continue to pray for healing. We will see the surgeon again on Monday.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Retreat for Me, Angel baby for David

Today, Sophia is 16 months old. As I predicted a couple of months ago, she is a walking machine!

I went on my retreat from Friday to Sunday. It was fantastic...girls were authentic and open, bonding was happening at every turn, there were a lot of tears, and we got very little sleep! All you could ever want in a retreat, right? Seriously, this is my 9th small group retreat in 9 years. This may have been the best one yet. I love these girls!

An interesting thing I learned while listening to these 18 great high school girls share their stories: Middle school stinks if you're a girl. That's where all the wounds are made. Good to know. Lauren will be entering 5th grade at Riverside Intermediate in the fall. Note to self: love your middle school girl like crazy.

While I was retreating, David was holding down the fort here at home. He always does a wonderful job when he gets to stay home with the kids. They sleep a little less, eat a little worse, and have way more fun than with Mom. How Sophia got wind of this Dad weekend mentality, I am not sure. She sure understands more than we give her credit for. She slept til 8 each morning, ate good, napped good, didn't make a peep at night, and the kids fed her breakfast while David slept.

It's like they know. They know when mom's there and that she'll just take care of business. Let's just take it easy on Dad, though. Let him sleep in! (I haven't slept in since January! I may have to make that my mother's day request!) OK, enough whining! I'm actually thrilled that things went great in my absence. Sophia adores her siblings and her daddy and it is wonderful to behold!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Walking Proof

Here is a video of Sophia walking around the house. It was shot on Tuesday. She actually is walking even more now. As you will notice in the video, she is having a little trouble keeping her pants up. She has no hips, butt, or anything to hold them up so we usually stick to leggings. Today she's actually wearing a pair of shorts that are 3-6 months! They fit this 16 month old perfectly! We are a bit worried that all this walking (sometimes running) will cause her to lose weight. I guess we'll have to butter the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and add a side of cinnamon roll.

If you think of me this weekend, pray for my time with my small group girls! - and maybe for David at home with the kids all weekend too! I know God will show up. He always does.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Life Continues...

It has been too long since I reported in! It seems that when you receive a baby and home-life becomes crazier, the rest of life should be put on hold, right? Nope. Life keeps happening.

One of those involvements over the past 9 years has been with a high school girls' small group from my church. Every spring, my co-leader and I host a small group retreat. This is such a fun retreat where we all grow closer to each other and to Jesus. It also creates a bit of busyness that is mildly complicated by the wonderful presence of a 1 year old! The retreat is this weekend, so I am really feeling the rush and demands of my regular old life. It doesn't slow down!

Sophia has lost her plastic nose place holder thingy. It came out a week ago. The stages were kind of funny to watch. First, it just started to descend a little at a time until it was almost touching her lip. She looked funny, but didn't seem to notice its presence.

Next, last Wednesday, one of the sides popped out. At first, this didn't seem to bother her either, but that afternoon she woke up from her nap very crabby. She kept brushing her hand against her nose (which she never does if she can help it.) She was so irritated by it that she allowed me to give it a slight tug and out it came!

The hole seems mostly closed at this point, but the healing continues. Slowly but surely her upper lip is returning to normal!

Sophia is walking all over the place these days. She prefers walking to crawling and is adorable doing it! Her arms are outstretched and often she's jabbering and drooling away! She is ridiculously fond of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and can eat a whole one! She's a huge fan of this little puppy in the picture and hugs it and gives it love with such enthusiasm, all the while making her very own "woof, woof" sound (mostly just an "F" sound.) She continues to enjoy the trampoline and the outdoors in general. Today, she was introduced to the Little Tykes sedan. She and her puppy loved it and didn't want to get out...until, of course, a ride on the trampoline was offered.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Broken Glass

I got the opportunity to go to a morning writing seminar today! As I like to write, this was a treat. Thank you, Cheri, for hanging with Sophia.

One of the activities in the seminar was to write a story in 6 1/2 minutes that happened in the past six days... Here is what I wrote: This happened yesterday!

I was scurrying around the kitchen, hoping to get the dishwasher unloaded before Sophia began to fuss. On my tip toes, I shoved my favorite baking dish and its lid on the top shelf of the cupboard on top of another dish and moved along to the next rack. About 2 minutes later, in a flash of sound, the dish and its cover reappeared in my life with a CRASH and shatter as pieces that looked like thousands of tiny (and not so tiny) diamonds flew everywhere – really everywhere! Kitchen, hallway, stairs, entryway, dining room, even under the piano in the living room! How did pieces get all the way in there?

So often, I work in the kitchen with Sophia at my feet, often standing right there at the dishwasher playing with the silverware. Miraculously, this time, she was in the next room! Not for long though…wanting to investigate the ridiculously loud distraction, she came crawling intently through the debris, so I swooped her immediately up, shook off the glass, and took her to her crib to wait out the extensive and potentially painful cleanup process!

To wailing in the background, I began…there was glass in the cupboard, in the sink, in the dishwasher, in the silverware tray, on the counter, under the rug, on the hardwood, on the carpet, and everywhere it could possibly find a way. I shook rugs, swept, and vacuumed, all to the accompaniment the confused cries. Finally, after 35 minutes, I was done – and so was Sophia – actually, she was done at the beginning!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Visit to Dr. Sadove

We had a another follow up visit today with our lovely surgeon. He thinks all is well.

Sophia's little plastic nose place holder is coming out (I wish I had a good close-up photo for you! Maybe tomorrow!) This was put in at the time of surgery and should come out sometime on it's own. The good doctor said that it is actually kept in with a stitch. So, that is why it isn't coming all the way out! It looks like it will soon, but that stitch needs to deteriorate or get snipped.

So, we are hoping it will take care of itself. If it doesn't, the current plan is to do a quick 15 minute snip in a month. This will require anestheasia (BOO) but a pretty mild dose. I am not sure I can handle a whole month of it hanging there... It looks a little funny, and Sophia doesn't seem too comfortable with it either.

This is mild compared to a hole in her lip or a 104 degree fever, but it is what it is and where we are at today...a plastic place holder! The saga continues!

I need my bed!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sophia's Trampoline Fun

The hole in Sophia's lip still seems to be closing. She officially cut her front two top teeth this past week. Her hearing seems normal (she was tested this past week.) And she has discovered the joys of the trampoline.

Now, this new trampoline was a birthday gift for Lauren and Marcus from us and from the grandparents. We knew they would love it, and they have not disappointed us! Lauren has been practicing her gymnastics, and Marcus has been entertaining every friend on our street on his trampoline.

Sophia is just as enamored with it as her siblings. And she expresses herself with squeals of delight as I try to not worry that she's going to smack her lip... here's the footage I captured this morning:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sweet Springtime

I am sitting on my deck looking out over my baby leaves and green, green grass breathing the most amazing spring air. Oh, and birds are tweeting, I have coffee (french vanilla, I love you!), and a coconut chocolate chip cookie from Paradise Bakery (these are amazing, and Vicki knows about my love affair with them and enables me. Thanks Vicki! How do they make them so good?) It is good to sit quietly while a 1 year old naps!

We have had such a fun week! Spring break felt a little more like summer break at times as we had a lot of 70 degree days! That meant a lot of time outside breaking in the new trampoline (birthday gift that I think will keep on giving). We also had the fabulous Zellmann grandparents in for the weekend. Everyone enjoyed this and Lauren, was thrilled (understatement) by the surprise stow aways, Helen and Claire Hale (cousins from Wisconsin).

Sophia has been very busy as well. She has also been enjoying the outside and seems to like everything we introduce...except the second half of the run I took her on last night. For the first 15 minutes she was completely enjoying the novelty of the stroller - talking and laughing and waving at her brother and sister who were on their bikes. Then, she decided it was time to be done. Well, we were, at best, 10 minutes from home. I hope the nice folks in that lovely neighborhood didn't mind the screaming baby in the red stroller. I know I didn't care for it much and sprinting with a stroller wasn't my favorite either. "We're almost home baby!...pant, pant...The itsy-bitsy spider...pant, pant...just a couple more minutes...pant, pant...look at the puppy dog!...pant, pant..." all to the tune of "WAAA, WAAA, WAAAA!" The kids rode on ahead. I think they might have been embarrassed.

Sophia is really walking a lot these days. She even likes to stand up on the trampoline (scary). She loves to bounce, but hasn't mastered the stand and bounce yet. Her lip does seem to be healing slow but sure. We won't see Dr. Sadove until next Monday, but it looks a teeny-tiny bit better every day. Although Sophia did warm up to her grandparents and cousins rather well, she has been pretty needy for me these past few days and hasn't slept well. This, of course, hasn't been my favorite either, but yesterday Marcus said, "maybe she's getting another tooth, Mom." Well, I dismissed it at the time because what does a 7 year old know about these things, right? but this morning, I think I may have spotted something trying to come through on top! We'll see. It also may be my imagination.

I was thinking at the beginning of my time on the deck about the past months. Really, I've never had a time in my otherwise very cushy life that has had as many struggles and stresses. Or perhaps as much joy and pain. Adoption is amazing and trying at the same time. Kind of like a 1 year old in general. I don't think I'm particularly good at 1 year old parenting either. But as I read in the Bible this morning, "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction." I am so often stupid in this way! Not that I'm being punished with difficult or stressful things, but I have been very aware through this that difficult things are like discipline and they train me. How I respond or react to challenges reveal where I need correcting. It is good. I want to never stop learning even though I sometimes hate the process! As I said at the beginning, it is good to sit quietly while a 1 year old naps!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Easter Happy Spring!

So much has happened this past week. A week ago, we found a hole in Sophia's face that was supposed to be stitched shut. The roller coaster of my life hit a low spot and I was so very anxious. After talking to the Doc and thinking for a couple days, we started back up the hill.

Now, I really think the hole in her face will close. It hasn't yet, but it does seem to be getting smaller. She still looks pretty messy, but it gets a tiny bit better by the day. The doctor saw us again on Monday and was pleased with Sophia's progress. He did admit that my alarm over the hole was not an over reaction and that he was actually puzzled over the fever too. We will see him again in 12 days. Lately, she has had a couple of really happy days. What a fun baby she is!

Spring break has been going great at the Roux house. Easter service at Grace Community Church was amazing. Lots of people placed their faith in Jesus for the first time and worshiping with 1500 people was wonderful. He is mighty to save.

The kids got a trampoline for their 2010 birthdays, so that has been a huge hit. Lauren actually turned 10 on Easter. We've had 80 degrees a couple days in a row, the grass is green, and we're in the middle of a good thunderstorm - we didn't even have to leave Indiana.

We've also had a good friend Neil Downy in town for a conference, so there's been a lot of staying up late and talking. Neil and his wife Jenny knew David and I before we knew each other back in college.

Tomorrow, my parents will be arriving for supper! Very exciting. The kids have been talking about it all week. The funny thing is, they don't even know the half of it - my mom and dad are bringing their cousins, Helen, Claire, and Edward Hale, along with them. We are not going to tell them until they arrive! I will try to capture that moment on film... should be fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Trusting and Hoping

The trickiest part of the last 48 hours has been coming to terms with the fact that we can't do anything but watch and wait. We are not in control. We cannot heal. We cannot know. We can only pray and trust and hope. I am more of a doer usually. And, as a woman, I am especially fond of control (Eve). Can any of you relate? This is, yet again, an excellent exercise in surrender. Thanks, I guess.

So, today was tiring as it was the first day of spring break and everyone was home. And I mean everyone. At one point there were 12 children on our property. I only have 3. There was a water fight, a nerf gun battle, and egg dying on the deck. It was 80 degrees! That felt fantastic. Things were busy, Sophia was needy, and I, of course, was her necessary prop. As usual, as the day wore on, she got happier and happier. She loves the evenings. So tonight, I decided to capture some action in the pink and white sleeper:

Here is the girl working on getting to know some of her grandparents. My mom and dad are coming down in a week, and I thought they should get acquainted, so their picture has been moved to Sophia height on the fridge. She usually points at the picture when I say, "where's Grandpa and Grandma?" Then, out of no where, she threw some letters around and this is what she came up with! She's brilliant. I tell you, we're starting calculus as soon as her lip heals.

Sophia was extremely affectionate today too. Sometimes, when I ask her for a kiss, she'll give me the customary baby kiss/lick. Sometimes she just looks the other way, like, "Nope. Not today, Mom." Well, today she was trying to kiss me all the time! It was very cute and very wet. This evening after a particularly wet kiss, she wiped my face off for me. I could hardly stop laughing.

As I wiped up some diet coke I spilled this afternoon, I noticed that she was doing the same! She was imitating the exact motion on her hands and knees next to me. This photo is staged, but I spilled some water on the ground again and started wiping and she jumped right in again. So cute. Man, I love this little girl.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Starbucks Rendezvous With A Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Sadove is sublimely kind. To ease my anxious heart, he suggested I come and see him for a moment in the hospital Starbucks (yes, this was one swanky hospital - only in Carmel, IN or maybe Beverly Hills). Not really a check up, but more of a see-if-we-need-a-check-up meeting. So, Sophia and I went to the Starbucks, looked at some books (as you should always do when in a coffee shop,) and met up with the good Doctor.

He wasn't worried about the hole in her above the lip area near as much as I thought he would be and said he thought it would come together in a couple of weeks. Phew! Now, I must say, Dr. Sadove is the most laid back, chill doctor I have ever met, so I wasn't entirely surprised. I do trust him very much as a doctor though, and I'm sure he would never give me false hope. So, we wait and keep cleaning it and hopefully get to watch God do His thing as He knits flesh with flesh over the next couple of weeks.

On a side note, baking gingersnaps is an excellent way to cope with stress. Lucky kids coming home from school! Spring Break is here, and I guess we are celebrating with hot gingersnaps! Wonderful. Keep praying for healing.

Praying Friends, We need your help!

Just when we thought things were settling down, we have another concern. Could you please pray for supernatural healing for our Sophia's lip? As of last night we discovered that this one area beneath the right side of her nose is not knitting together like we thought. When we got some of the dried blood off, there is hole there that wasn't there after surgery.

The doctor says there is nothing to be done right now. It may close on it's own or it may not, but we can't take care of it for 6 months or so either way. We will see him on Monday, and he'll be able to make a better assessment then.

In the mean time, could you pray that God would do two things: Heal, heal, heal! and calm my heart. I'm anxious and sad. I just long for normal again. Thank you for praying.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sleep Sweet Sleep

Things are so much better here!

After a 4 hour nap yesterday and some general fussiness (it was a weird day!), David put Sophia to bed at 9pm with a bit of trepidation. What would the night bring? I was out with the ladies for fantastic PFChangs and even more fantastic conversation! As we fell into bed, we negotiated for nighttime duty or morning duty.

Well, low and behold, we both won, as Sophia (and both of us), slept until 9:15! We were just so ridiculously happy. Sophia followed that with a fabulous day complete with a nice long nap and lots of walking and playing.

Yes, she likes to walk. I wouldn't say she's officially walking, but she sure is having fun trying. She would rather walk than crawl, so she tries to find something to hold on to and cruises the place just like pre-surgery.

Her lip is healing pretty nicely. Today, a large scab fell off so it is looking a little more normal. She has little tiny black stitches that will eventually dissolve (these look like little whiskers). On the inside during surgery, they used white stitches that will eventually just come through the surface of the skin. Well, they started coming out, so she looks like she has little pieces of dental floss sitting on her lip.

All in all, things are getting back to normal here. Thank you so much for praying! My cold seems to be on the way out (12 days - it should be!). It now resides in Sophia unfortunately. It makes for a really disgusting looking conglomeration of snot, scab, and stitches under her nose. You can now pray for that to go away too!

As I stood in church tonight worshiping I looked down at my little girl in my arms. She is such a representation of God's grace in my life. He has been so good. Not because I got the long awaited baby (although that is His goodness too!) Not because things worked out just like I thought (they didn't. They may have worked out better!) But because God's presence was so close through her whole story, our whole journey. He is that real that He makes His presence known and felt in every single circumstance to me specifically. That is undeserved. That is a sweet, irreplaceable gift. That is grace.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 3: Better!

The fever has flown, it seems. I am hesitant to announce that, as I'm afraid I might be premature. As of this morning though, Sophia's been normal! We are so happy and so much less worried. Sophia is still fussy and seems to have settled in with a cold, but at least there doesn't seem to be imminent danger. She played today which she hasn't done since pre-surgery. She even requested Lauren's Littlest Pet Shop house with a very definite point and grunt.

She is very tired still and that seems to be the cause of her fussiness at this point. You would think that would translate into long naps and sleeping soundly at night. Not quite... mostly she just falls asleep a lot in our arms but doesn't stay sleeping long. That might be because of the uncomfortable armsplints. I'm pretty sure I could sleep just fine with armsplints, but I'm a very tired mommy and could sleep standing so I might not be the best judge.

On a side note, I have finally aquired a taste for coffee! Very conveniently timed, I must say! For a while now, David makes a pot in the mornings and leaves about a cup in the bottom of the pot as he departs for work. After pouring this down the drain for some time, I decided to give it a try with the magical french vanilla creamer he has been requesting I pick up at the grocery. Low and behold, it's not too bad! And more importantly, it makes living on very little sleep so much more possible and even enjoyable. Thanks, David! Just another way you make my life better!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Second Day, Same as the First

At one point this afternoon, I cracked a bit. My sinuses were pounding, the girl in my arms was fussing and burning up again, Marcus was chattering away, Lauren was singing something (as she always seems to be doing), we were all sitting at the table for supper, and I just couldn't figure out what to do or how to feel! It was just too much! Tears, tears, tears...

I'm OK now. Everything is still pretty overwhelming, but all 3 kids are in bed, I'm headed there, and I know that this too shall pass.

Here's what today was: We thought the fever was down (like to the reasonable 101-102 range), but it popped back up to nearly 104 in the afternoon. Sophia was kind of miserable all day, didn't eat much, and woke up 4 times last night. I still feel rotten, especially in my sinuses.

The sugeon believes that Sophia is fighting off a virus of some kind and would have this fever if she had surgery on Monday or not. We haven't been to see a doctor yet about the fever. If it doesn't come down tomorrow, we will see the pediatrician soon.

Meanwhile, I was blessed by some great friends! Cheri brought spaghetti pie tonight and Layne brought a pizza yesterday. Mary Beth ran to the store for milk and ibuprofen this morning and Lynda came over with lunch for us and stayed to clean up my kitchen and vacuum my living room! Buffy and Janice called too, wanting to help me! I do feel loved. I also feel like I would have been in a much worse place this afternoon if I hadn't been loved so well. Thank you friends!

Please pray for us! Pray that I would have hope and joy in the midst of junk. Pray for healing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not the greatest 24 hours

Since I last posted, we have been busy. I must be brief as my eyes are mere slits and I can hear my bed hollering from the other room, "Get in here Stephanie!"

Last night she was up at 11, 1, 4, and 5. At 5, she seemed warm, so I took her temp and it was 102.6 under her arm. Not good. We were told she might get a fever, but nothing over 101.5. If it was higher, we were supposed to call. Dr. Sadove got back to us pretty quickly and wasn't worried. He told us we were doing all the right things and not to worry about it too much. Tylenol and love...

So, I've been up with her since 5. Since then she spiked to 103.8 and 103.6 at 2 different times today. Tylenol wasn't cutting it, so the Doc said we could use Ibuprofen (usually a no-no after surgery because of the blood thinning qualities).

We were advised by our pediatrician and the immediate care nurse to take her to the emergency room, but Dr. Sadove called me while Sophia and I were on the way to the ER and told me to bring her to him. In the lobby of his clinic, he took a quick look at her and thought she'd be fine. Seriously, her only bad symptom was the fever as he asked us about everything else. She's eating some, drinking, voiding, sleeping (lots of this, actually, just in fits and starts), no sniffles, coughing, vomiting, or ear puss.

We don't know entirely what's causing the fever, but it could be a virus (which may have been mine to start with. Oops, sorry Sophia!) or it could be just the usual effects of anaestesia (a low grade fever is expected), or it could be her body still trying to get rid of the last remnants of ear infections while dealing with the trauma of surgery. Or it could be some combination of the 3! We will be keeping that fever down tonight! Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Please pray for Sophia and for me. I still feel cruddy too. I know there are a lot of people praying for us and I am so thankful. Blessings to you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Surgery Day Done

I am exhausted. I should go to bed. Right after this...

Overall, today went very well. Sophia is currently asleep in her bed. How long she will stay there, fast asleep is the big question at this point. They hopped up Tylenol might help a little, but we shall see. We are preparing for a long night.

Back to the beginning: Sophia was a trooper from the get go as she didn't whine much about not getting breakfast. We were out of the house by 7:25 and on our way. After driving through the rain and morning traffic, we were only 10 minutes late, but that still got us there with lots of time. We met with the doctors and nurses and by 9:30, they were ready for her.

They took her back with relatively few tears (check the first half of the video for the footage). Then, 10 minutes later, the ENT, Dr. Trigg, came out and told us he was all finished - the ear tubes were in! Dr. Sadove took a little longer. 2 hours later, she was in recovery screaming and they came and got us, thinking we would be able to calm her. Not so much. She screamed for 45 minutes with quick breaks to sip some orange Gatorade. She was a thirsty monster, but managed to keep it all down despite the rage and coming out of aneastesia.

We stayed at the hospital in our little surgery waiting room for another 2 1/2 hours and felt like she was ready for her house (maybe we were ready for our house. Either way, it was good to be home). We were home before the kids even got home from school!

Sophia is very fond of me at this point and really would prefer not to be bothered by anyone else. She mostly wants to be held and be walked around. My biceps will thank me later, I imagine. Her lip looks pretty beat up, but that was expected. It won't really become as it will be for a couple months. There will probably be another surgery at some point in the next few of years to finish everything off also. For now though, we're glad it's done! Let the recovery begin.

Here's a video of our day: the first half is pre surgery and the second half is post! Poor little peanut!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow: 3-22-2010

Tomorrow is the big day! We are a bit nervous, but mostly just sad for the pain and ordeal that Sophia will have to go through. She won't understand what's going on of course, so I have a vision in my head of her eyes saying, "Mommy! What's going on? This hurts me! Why did you let this happen?" I know - crazy thoughts.

When we wake up tomorrow morning, Sophia can only have clear liquids, and that, only until 7. She will not be excited about this, but we are hoping Jello (a clear liquid of sorts) will help pacify her momentarily. We will leave here at 7:25am, drop the kids off at some school/neighborhood friends, and head to the hospital. We have to be there at 8am. She has surgery scheduled for 10am. Tubes go in first, I think, and then they will repair her lip. Total time will be 1-2 hours.

We don't know yet whether this will be out patient surgery or if we will stay overnight at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. They will decide that based on how things go tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

Please pray for us tomorrow. God has shown Himself faithful throughout this whole process and gotten us through the bumps along the way. Pray for His presence with us, His healing for Sophia's body, and for His healing of my very yucky cold. Blessings to you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Must Be Spring - There's a bunny in the backyard

She didn't especially like the backyard. Actually, all the foreign sights and textures kind of freaked her out, but she was tolerant of her mother who needed to snap at least a couple of photos of the girl in her Easter bunny coat. PRICELESS! Thanks Wendy for the fun coat!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tubes It Is!

Our appointment with the ENT today was great - very informative and decisive, just like we were hoping! Sophia will be getting a set of ear tubes with her new lip on Monday. The very kind doctor is making himself available at our 10am surgery time and will pop in for the 5 minutes necessary to place tubes in her ear drums. He said that one of the biggest deals with putting tubes in is having to put the child under general anaesthesia and sinse she's already going to be under, he thought we may as well.

On a happy note, Sophia is happier today than yesterday. The 3rd antibiotic, Vantin, may be helping, at least to a degree. Vantin also doesn't taste as bad as we had heard, and it smells like a vanilla shake. She's a pro at this medicine taking thing by now! Oh, and most importantly, she slept all night last night! Hallelujah!

I, on the other hand, didn't sleep very well as I am coming down with a cold. Hmmmm, I wonder where I got these germs? Too many snotty, slobbery baby kisses! How could I possibly turn them down? Sophia even gave daddy a kiss this morning. It was wonderful.

I thought I'd include some photos of the girl. She's enjoying her time on her feet more and more these days. "Look Mom, no hands!" I'm putting bets that she'll be walking by May 4, her 16 month birthday. We will see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How about a side of ear infections with your cleft lip surgery...

Who has time to blog, anyway? Wow, we've been busy.

Sophia is still suffering from 2 lovely (not the word the drs. have used) ear infections and is on her 3rd antibiotic. We are assuming that this infection makes it difficult to sleep, so we have been suffering from some nighttime screaming. The children are baring up under it rather well, but Dave and I are looking a little ragged, I think.

Surgery is Monday at 10am. Unless these infections carry with them a fever, surgery will go on without problems. We are thinking of adding a little flair to the 2 hour long surgery with a couple of ear tubes. We're not sure yet if we will go with the tube option (or even if the ENT surgeon can swing it at that time) but we get to go to the ENT dr. tomorrow. If we're going to do it, doing it all at once would have lots of advantages. You can pray for that decision. Hopefully the dr. will have a pretty clear recommendation.

So, she's a punkin, but she's a little fussy these days. She's waving at everyone and says, "hi," we think. She still has her glove on and seems fine with that, although the thumb would surely help the nighttime screaming! She's a pro at the sippy cup now. She can do it all by herself and even enjoys the rice milk we've been putting in it. She guzzles it down and then slams her cup on her tray...we're working on that.

I'll try to blog again soon and let you all know what we decide about ear tubes. OK, I need to go to bed in preparation for the screaming to come :).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Citizan Sophia!

Now, Sophia has technically been a citizen of the USA since she proceeded through immigration in Chicago on January 28th. This week we got her proof of that. This Certificate of Citizenship is her ticket to get a new birth certificate, a passport, and all the other hoops she may have to jump through. After I took the photo, I read the fine print on the bottom left side. Oops. Don't tell anybody I took a picture, OK? I probably shouldn't leave it on the blog for too long. Later, we will destroy any evidence of the photo taken.

Marcus was the star student of the week this week in Mrs. Savin's 2nd grade class. He and I put together a quick photo tour of our time in China so his class could share his experience. He also brought in one of his souvenir swords...I was surprised that one was allowed in! At his presentation of Friday, the kids seemed to really enjoy Marcus' stories and he remembered much more than I would have guessed. The coolest part was that his favorite souvenir, his sister, got to come in as well. Sophia waved politely to all the kids and they enjoyed her very much. They had lots of good questions for Marcus about his trip and about her upcoming surgery. For the occasion, Sophia dressed up in her Chinese dress. She looked adorable!

We are in day 7 of thumb sucking termination and all is well. She has adjusted extremely well to not sucking her thumb when going to sleep! We had such dread as we went into this, as it had been a significant battle when Marcus stopped sucking his thumb. Apparently, 4 year old boys have a stronger will than 1 year old girls. Who knew!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thumb Sucking Termination, A Date With the Sugeon, and My First Kiss

First, Sophia is a trooper. She is so happy considering we have taken away her most faithful and constant companion that has been with her since birth! She must really like us or something.

We have finished 3 days with no thumb. Day 1 was the worst, of course. The bitter nail polish didn't work although it did make her angry (at her thumb though, not so much at me. You should have seen the evil look she gave the offending digit!)

After lunch we found these lovely little Easter gloves in the dollar aisle at Target, so we added a little strip of duct tape and we were in business again! She looks like quite a lady when you just see her left hand. When you see them both and that only one has a glove, she looks a little like Michael Jackson back in the day.

She has had a glove on her left hand since then and she hasn't sucked her thumb. In this photo, you can see her in bed sleeping peacefully with her pretty glove. Apparently white polyester isn't conducive to suction. Last night, she had a bath with her brother (he loves to take baths with her and is great at the splashing thing...not surprising really) and the glove came off. We were fine in the tub, but as soon as I wrapped her in the little hooded towel, the thumb started for the mouth. I cut her off just in the nick of time and we re-gloved the hand. She didn't even cry too hard!

I think we'll do this for a week and see if she still goes for her thumb when we take it off. Or maybe two weeks just in case...we'll see. She is pretty happy about life considering and is even getting better at falling asleep sans the thumb. She's not quite a snuggly which is a bummer for us, but even that is getting better as long as I sing and rock and provide the blanket of glory, she'll settle in pretty nicely.

In other, related news, Sophia's cleft lip surgery is on the calender: March 22 at 10am. That is 2 weeks from Monday. I think we'll be set with the thumb sucking by then, and she's already a champ (albeit a messy champ) with the cup. I am pretty sure she won't be walking by then, but that was the lowest priority. Mostly just so she wouldn't be frustrated with trying to crawl with elbow splints on.

Tonight, Sophia kissed me. I wish you could have all experienced the bliss! I said, "Sophia, give mommy a kiss!" and she leaned in with a wide open slobbery mouth and got me! The first time she got my chin. Then, when I asked again, she got almost all of my face. It was very sweet (and wet). She is really into me! I think they grow out of that...Oh, at least 7 year old boys do :).