Thursday, June 19, 2008

trip to shriners

Well, as though we have not done enough traveling in the last couple of weeks, we left Tuesday evening for Chicago Shriners. We left the house by 5:30 and had to stop about an hour and a half into the trip so we could eat. We got the girls good and full with high hopes that they would just drift off to la la land for the next 4 ½ hours…..NO WAY! That would be far too easy wouldn’t it? Hannah fell asleep after a couple of hours since she did not have a nap Tuesday, she was pretty tired. Makenna on the other hand, even though she was tired, refused to go to sleep. I think she slept the last hour of the trip. With the stopping we did, we did not get to our hotel until 12:30 our time. We were all very pooped. The girls were so excited to get in the hotel room and I had a hard time keeping them quiet so we didn’t disturb the other guests! Hannah crawled in bed with Scott and Makenna slept with me. Even though she was tired, she was very excited and didn’t want to fall asleep. She kept playing with my face and trying to talk to me. I finally fell asleep and when her play toy didn’t play anymore, she finally fell asleep. We were up by 7 AM and all of us showered, dressed, and packed up by little after 8. We stopped at McDonalds for breakfast then to Shriners we went. Our appt was at 9:30 and we arrived right on time. Thank goodness for our Garman GPS, it takes us right to places. As we walked in the hospital, the nurse that discharged us from the hospital after Makenna’s surgery was walking another family out to their car. She remembered Makenna and wanted to talk to her. Everyone is so very nice there. They really do care about the kids there. We saw the audiologist first and he said that her hearing was great! He did a hearing test and she did really well until she lost interested and refused to look towards the sound. When she is done, she is done! We then saw the ENT. He said the tubes looked good and had no recommendations for us. He said we do not need to use the ear plugs for bath time or swimming, unless she will be more than a foot and a half under water! We sat and sat and I finally asked someone when we would see the plastic surgeons. Come to find out, they had Makenna on the wrong list and she was not scheduled to see them! They called the doctors back up to the clinic and we finally go to see Dr. Grasseschi (I think that is how you spell it!) He said her mouth looked great, he had no concerns. He said the little bit of drainage out her nose could come from the roof of her mouth where there is a tiny spot still not completely healed, or could be from the back of the palate. I told him that we still were not giving her chips or anything hard like that and he said to allow her to eat whatever she wanted…no restrictions. He has no idea what all this girl would eat! As we were leaving Shriners, we asked at the front desk how close China Town was from the hospital. It was within a half hour so we decided to stop by on our way out of town.. We had seen lots of buildings from the highway on our way to the hospital with Chinese writing on them and we were intrigued so we headed off for some simulated culture for the girls! On the way there we drove through little Mexico! It lasted forever; it was about the size of the real Mexico! When we finally arrived at China town, it was shocking at how similar it was to China. For one thing of course you see so many Asians in one place! We parked and got out of the van and right away the smell took you back to China! We started walking and had many many stares from women trying to decide if the girls were Chinese or they looked like me, or maybe I had an affair?! We went in one shop that had grocery type items and Hannah did not like it at all. I think she recognized the smell from far back in her little mind and she got scared. She cried to leave right away. We did not go into another store for a long time after that, just walked and enjoyed the sights and sounds. We were wanting to get the girls authentic Chinese noodles but there were so many restaurants we were overwhelmed at which one to choose. Scott saw a Caucasian couple getting ready to head into this one restaurant and asked them about it. They said it was very good so we decided to try it out,. We had to collapse the strollers and carry the girls and strollers up a flight of steps because the restaurant was on the second floor! It was very good food. Scott and I’s meals came with egg drop soup and the girls loved it. We each got sweet and sour chicken and fried rice. I thought I’d get something to share with the girls that wouldn’t be so spicy. I ordered them a side of lo mein noodles since that is what Hannah really wanted. They brought this huge platter of noodles! The girls hardly touched it so we ended up bringing it home. They also served 4 cookies and 4 fortune cookies at the end of our meal. I used my chopsticks throughout the entire meal and even fed Makenna off of them! I was fairly proud of myself, only spilling rice on myself or the table a couple of times. When we were getting ready to leave a lady sitting at the table next to us asked how old the girls were and commented on Hannah’s vocabulary and her use of words. She said she was very impressed. We have one that speaks at a 4 or 5 year old level and one that doesn’t speak at all! We did stop in a couple of other stores and Hannah did much better., I think she realized by that point that she was safe. She tried on some hats in one store and looked through the traditional Chinese dresses. As we were walking to the van we passed a Chinese Christian bookstore and went in. The number one thing I remember is Tornado Makenna. Oh my, how embarrassing! She was sooooo tired and ready for a nap and she was terrible! She would pick up any book and throw it down and keep running. We had her belted in her stroller but she was screaming and pitching such a huge fit we let her out..big mistake! We did get a couple of nice books for the girls. The sales girl was wonderful. They are run by a church in China town and they give English lessons to the Chinese people and then tell them about Jesus. Sounded like an awesome ministry. They had the cutest little bible books written in Chinese then English on the same page. As we headed back to the van, we decided we need to do this again when we can stay longer. The sales ladies loved asking questions about the girls. Everyone kept saying how big Makenna was! She has gone from skinny starving little girl to a chunky monkey for sure! She is up to 27 pounds!
It is now 9:49 pm and we are little over an hour from home. Makenna has just now finally dozed off! How this girl fights sleep while traveling. Next time, we are drugging her, hate to do it but it is miserable for everyone! Hannah decided she was starving the whole way home so she had cheeseburgers from McDonalds, cookies, 2 cups of Gatorade, cup of milk, cup of my watered down diet coke……..and still kept saying she was hungry. She is still awake watching Milo and Otis. Amazing that girl She is really turning into quite the little traveler. She is not afraid of hotels any more and feels safe in most environments. Tomorrow is a big day for her…it is her second Gotcha Day anniversary! Hard to believe it has been 2 years in some aspects and it also seems like she has always been with us! I will try to post pictures of her in her gotcha day outfit tomorrow. I am sure it still fits her well; it was pretty big on her when we got her!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

vacation pics and prayer request

OK, so 2 weeks later, here are the rest of the vacation pictures!! We have been so busy since we got home! Scott finally got the pictures converted from RAW files to jpeg so I could do something with them. We leave for Shriners this afternoon for Makenna's followup appt tomorrow. She will see the plastic surgeon, ENT, audiologist, and not sure who else again.
We will come straight home. My uncle is in his last days with cancer. I doubt that he will be here on this earth by the time we get home and honestly I hope he isn't. It is painful to watch someone as active as he was to be so bed ridden. We lost my mom three years ago next month, her younger brother a year ago this month, and now her older brother. They are all had melanomia. My mom's was laryngeal melanomia, she was only 1 of about 50 in the world to have this rare type. Her younger brother had melanomia in his eyeball which is also not very common. Her older brother had spots on his back and shoulder removed but it had spread by the time they found it. The doctors said that he should have died 6 months ago because of the large size of his tumors but he has an incredible will to live. He was hoping to live until his 75th birthday which is July 18. I think they are throwing him an early birthday party. I told him after living 74 and 11/12's he could celebrate a couple weeks early! I went to see him yesterday and spend a little time with him. It was hard leaving knowing I won't see him again until heaven probably. Please keep my family in prayer and especially his family as they walk through this diffiult time. My aunt just lost her mother in March and now her husband.
Thank you for your prayers.
God Bless

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some fun pics from Friday

Here are some pictures we took of Hannah, Makenna and Tyler Michael. He celebrated his 1st birthday a couple of weeks ago! Hard to believe he is getting so big! I got his mommy a photoframe with 3 openings and put a pic of Tyler in is birthday hat, one with the cake in front of him, and one all messy in the frame for her to keep. It was pretty cute. Although, Tyler was not happy about getting his picture taken and really did not like getting messy in his cake, the pictures turned out cute! The girls also did not do well. Scott takes wonderful pictures of other people's kids but his own kids will not cooperate!

Our famous family!

Well, I have so much to post but this will be short and sweet! In recognition of Father's Day, Scott was asked if the newspaper could feature him for todays issue. They wanted to tell his story of how we were inches away from empty nest and freedom and how we ended up with 2 beautiful little active girls from China! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to share our testimony about our adoptions but unfortunately they did not meantion God in the article! We were disappointed especially since Scott gave them a copy of an article he had written entitled "The Relunctant Father" which told his spiritual struggle with his selfish side of wanting to be finished with raising kids and knowing God wanted him to start again. We pray that even though God was not in our story in the paper, He will still be honored and maybe another precious child will find a forever home because of it. Here is the story and picture! BTW, It was amazing how many people saw this before church! We had people we didn't know come up to us at church to talk about adoption. We also had a family see us in Dairy Queen that had seen the picture and article that talked to us! Gotta love small towns!

PS, I have much to post on our past week and also the rest of our vacation. I will do that soon I Promise!

Friday, June 6, 2008

We had a fun day today. Hannah woke up at 7 and woke Makenna up. They are sleeping on a twin size air mattress on the side of our bed. I got Hannah up and we went out on the balcony to look for dolphin. They usually are out in the bay early in the morning and in the evening. Scott picked up Makenna and put her in bed with them and they both drifted back off to sleep for another 2 hours! They were so cute in there sleeping together. Makenna has to sleep on her tummy and had her little butt stuck up in the air just slumbering away!
We got up and got ready and headed out to the beach. We went to a really nice beach today, much better than the one the day before. Although, really, any day you get to go to a beach is a good day! The girls liked the beach alot more today. They both played and had a great time in the sand. Makenna even got brave enough to go up to the water and rinse her hands off when they got sandy! Hannah would go fill her bucket up with water by herself so it was all in all a fun time. I will post pictures a little later. Scott is laying down with the girls right now getting them to sleep and I can't find his camara to get the card out! We came back to the condo and ate some lunch and I put the girls down for a nap. TJ got off work today early and was here by 1. He was so tired and laid down with Hannah for a nap. I went in to lay down with them and TJ and I slept until 6! We were so tired! TJ suggested a great pizza place to try for supper so we ordered and Scott went to pick it up. The girls are pretty energetic and we didn't want to take them to a resturant! That is about our lazy day today! Everyone but Scott and I are sitting around the dining room table playing poker, not sure who is winning but seems to be pretty heated at times. I'll post today's pictures when I can tonight!
Signing off from the beach......only one day left...... :(

Our vacation so far

Here it goes. For some reason when I powered up the laptop this morning, everything was in jibberish. When I type in a website to go to, it is all symbols but when I get there it is fine. When I put a title to this post, it is in all symbols but the blog is OK. Scott is sleeping so I'll ask him when he wakes up. Anyway, about our trip...
The ride down here was LONG. It was enough to take some of the cheapness out of me and I am checking on flying to Disney in Sept! We only made it an hour or so and stopped to eat, hoping the girls would then drift off to sleep and sleep the whole way. What was I smoking?! The girls fussed then played then fussed until around 9:30 or so. When Scott stopped to get something to drink at 1AM they both woke up again. Hannah could not go back to sleep and was awake until 4:30. She kept saying she was too excited to see her big brother to sleep. I even did the unthinkable and got her out of her carseat and made a bed on the floor between the captian chairs for her to sleep go. At 4:30 I finally put her back in her seat and told her she didn't have to sleep but she had to close her eyes and just rest. That was enough to knock her out like a light until we were pulling in the parking lot of the condo.
We got in a little after 7 on Wednesday morning. We were all pretty tired. The girls were excited to be here and grandma fixed them breakfast. We got swimsuits on and headed to the pool by 9 AM! I was surprised that neither one of the girls took to the water like I thought they would. They were both afraid of the water at first. The water was pretty chilly but even in the hot tub where it was warm like bath water they were not big fans. Makenna did better if her feet could touch so she ran circles on the seat in the hot tub! Hannah sat on the edge alot and put her feet in and splashed. By 10:30 it was getting hot and we headed back up to the room for lunch and naps. The girls went right down for a nap and I was exhausted but didn't want to spend my vacation inside so I headed back out to the pool. I had this plan of how not to get burnt but in the end it didn't work. I took 30 SPF and applied it to my body but when I rolled over on my stomach, I didn't reapply to the back of my legs and back and boy did I pay the price. I was only out for an hour or so but I am as red as a lobster on my back side. So stinking mad at myself for that. I was determined to come down here, enjoy the sun without a sunburn! I have not been in the sun or a tanning bed since my mom was diagnosed with skin cancer and passed away almost 3 years ago. I am very aware of the dangers of sunburns and preach to my boys all the time about applying sunscreen. Oh well, not much to do now but stay covered up outside! TJ stopped over when he got off work and we headed to a beach. We loaded up 101 sand toys and buckets, towels, beach chairs, sunscreen, and took off. The girls liked the sand when we got there but they were not sure about the waves coming up and covering their feet! Hannah wanted nothing to do with it and Makenna didn't care for it either. Now, Makenna is the type of kid that in a bathtub, she is on her tummy, putting her face in the water and "swimming". Scott ended up sitting down in the sand with her and they probably sat the for at least an hour for her to get used to it. After a while, she warmed up a little to the beach fun. What was so funny is she refused to walk on the beach and didn't want to put her knees down to crawl in it so she did the crab walk wherever she wanted to go! Hannah had fun playing in the sand with her favorite person in the whole wide world..TJ. By the end of the day, we had sea gulls eating out of our hands. The girls thought that was pretty funny. We returned to the condo and ate dinner and put the girls and us to bed by 9. We were all 4 out like a light and the girls slept all night long. Hannah woke me up around 8 and she and I got up and Makenna and Scott slept until after 9.
Thursday morning Scott, Anna, Hannah, and I got up and headed to TJ's base to meet him during his lunch time. He showed us all around his base but wouldn't allow us in his room! Not sure why, it has to be kept clean all the time. Said something about not informing his room mate that we were coming...who knows! Hannah was upset that TJ didn't let her see his room! There is a big air show at the base this weekend and the blue angels were practicing while we were there. That was interesting to watch them. When TJ went back to work, we went to the PX and went shopping. Anna had her military ID since her dad is in the airforce so we had a fun time. I was in charge of cooking supper Thursday night so we had a mexican fiesta!
The girls have done pretty well so far. They do get bored with no toys to play with. Makenna has started really caring about her soon as she pees or poops she wants it off. I think we are ready to potty train! 2 times down here, she has reached in her diaper and pulled out a little something somthing if you get my drift. She has had little marble poopies since surgery and she finds them interesting! Oh my, the horror on everyones face when she does this. Yesterday I changed her and a few minutes later she grabbed her nose to let me know she was stinky. I checked her and she was fine but about 5 minutes later, she had pooped in her diaper.
Well, that should catch you up on our vacation up to Friday morning. I think we are headed to the beach this morning. I promised Hannah I'd take her and a bucket to gather shells!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Vacation pics from yesterday

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I'll post a little later. It is my night to cook and need to fix supper for the starving natives! We are having a great time!

Monday, June 2, 2008

What a weekend!

Well, he did it! Ryan graduated!

We had a very nice time with friends and family this weekend. We had Scott's parents, sisters and their famlies come over from Indiana and stay with us. It is fun to get everyone together. The girls enjoy their cousins and it is fun to watch them together. Scott took pictures Sunday morning and when you look at the cousins picture there are alot of them but there are 5 missing! Ryan is the only white kid in the bunch....pretty funny for him to be a minority in his family!

We had a nice turn out for Ryan's graduation party. It is terrible that we only see friends that live within 10 minutes on special occasions like this! We are all just so busy though. We came home after his party and we were exhausted. Jontel, Scott's nephew, is going to be a senior year and Scott offered to shoot his senior pictures. We did the indoor pictures Saturday night in the living room and Scott did outside pictures Sunday morning before they left to go home. He is a pretty photogenic kid so they turned out pretty nice. Jontel has an amazing gift when it ocmes to sports, especially track and football, but he didn't want pictures with his uniforms and trophies he wanted pictures taken with the American flag and a bible. He has set his lifetime goal of going into politics and someday becoming president of the United States! If any kid can do it, he can. He is just one of those kids you meet and just like right off the bat. I posted more of his pictures on Scott's website, .

I wanted to post the video of Ryan's life that we did but it is 10 minutes long and I can't find a place to upload a video that long to post here. If anyone knows of a program or how I can do that please let me know.

On a final last funny note, Scott got the girls ready for bed last night because I was sewing them a couple of little dresses to take on vacation. This morning Hannah woke up at 6:30 crying so I got up and went to check on her. Scott had forgot to put a diaper on her and she had peed her bed and she was upset. She was freezing and she said "mommy, my teeth won't stop moving"! It was just too cute. She came down and snuggled in bed with me to warm up. Makenna also woke up during the commotion and she was a bear so after she hate her breakfast (and hannah's) I put her back to bed and she is asleep again! She has speech today and I am anxious to show off her new words, if she will cooperate!