Sunday, December 27, 2009

Season's Greetings.............

Greetings from Crescent Hill Road! Hoping everyone had a joyous holiday. Can't believe how quickly Christmas came this year. The New Year will soon be here too. The year 2009 will always be remembered as the year Lily joined our family. We are so thankful and feel extremely blessed. Enjoy the pictures of her first Christmas with our family............

Our Christmas picture this year. Taken after a few threats to the big kids and bribes to the little one. Why is taking pictures of children so painful for them?

Finally, all FIVE stockings hang from the fireplace..........

Cutie patootie with her Christmas headband.

Sisters. Awwwwww.

Having fun with Auntie Josie and cousin Max.

My growing 12 year old baby. Where has the time gone? He is already taller than me and wears a size 11 men's sneaker. I am so not kidding.

Max, Sophie, Lily, Uncle Peter(Anthony's brother) and Gavin. Uncle Peter said he had to be in the picture with the kids because he was the baby of the family. No comment.

Three happy kids after opening presents on Christmas morning. Yahhhhh.

Lily totally crashed after our Christmas Eve celebration.

Lily with her favorite presents. Kitchen set, Bitty Baby, Dora Quad. She was so excited.

Fully dressed for the moment............ It doesn't last long.

My Elvis singing Sophie. So beautiful. Inside and out.

My cute, pregnant sister, Renee. So cute. We can't wait to meet this baby!!!! Hurry up June 5th. Lily LOVES Renee. She calls her Ah Nay Nay (Auntie Renee). Renee will make a great first time Mom. Can't wait.

Uncle Cody (Renee's husband) and Lily posing by the fire. Lily was being very cooperative with the picture taking. A Christmas miracle.

One of the three best Christmas presents EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


First snow of the season! The kids were so excited to see the snow this morning when they woke up. Unfortunately they couldn't play in it, school wasn't cancelled. By the time they got home it had melted away from the rain. Oh well, next time. I guess winter has rolled in. Waaahhhh. Not a fan of the snow, not so excited to see it this morning. A little is ok for the kids. That's enough for me.

Lily's first snow encounter. She is still in her pajamas and not really dressed for playing in the snow as you can see. We were coming home from driving the big kids to the bus stop. She kept saying "snow" over and over again. Once outside and standing in it, she didn't quite know what to make of it. She really didn't like getting wet (it was very wet and heavy, turning to rain). She wanted to stand in the garage and watch it fall. She kept reaching her hand out to touch it saying "cold". This hot blooded girl is from southern China and has never seen snow before. These 20-30 degree days are a big difference from the humid, sweltering 90-115 degrees where she is from. Ironically, she hates to be hot. You would think she would be cold here. Uhm, no. She HATES to be hot and is constantly taking her clothes off. She has major hissy fits when she gets hot.

The next snow storm I promise to have her "officially" dressed to play outside in the snow.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving, The Stink Eye and Nakedness....Huh?

This is the best fully dressed picture I could get of Lily on Thanksgiving. She was not being very cooperative with photo taking that day.

Notice the stink eye? She was turning her back to me and giving me this lovely look every time I came near her with the camera. Little rascal!

Hiding in the corner when she saw me coming with the camera!

I know the stink eye is under those glasses!

Yes, the backpack came with us. We still don't leave home without it. I'm the one with the stink eye now. This back pack is getting on my nerves!

Ok, this is where the nakedness comes in........ Lily LOVES to be undressed. Shortly after arriving at Grammy's house on Thanksgiving the clothes started coming off. It doesn't matter where she is, how cold it is........the clothes come off. She's not shy about it. This is how she spent most of the day. Nice socks. We are so thankful for this little stink eyed cutie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Temper Tantrum Tuesday continued....

So it's not an ear infection. Her ears/tubes look great. Good news, I guess. The pedi thinks she is getting her top molars though. That could definitely explain the not sleeping at night, being cranky, not eating as much as she has been and the temper tantrums. I am always thinking whenever she is acting different or misbehaving that it is related to adoption issues. I guess I need to move on. Not all issues are going to be related to adjustment/adoption. She is just an appropriate 2 1/2 year old. Doing what a 2 1/2 year old does. Temper tantrums and all. Now that is good news!

Temper Tantrum Tuesday

Not a good start today. By 7:45 am a major tantrum was brewing. Over a Nutri-Grain bar. She could eat 10 of these a day if we let her. Of course we don't. So what comes next? Yup. A full blown, kicking, screaming, flailing, snot blowing Tantrum with a capital T that can last for A VERY LONG TIME!! I don't know what happened to my happy, silly, singing little girl I always talk about. Lately she has been a little out of sorts. Not quite herself. Unpredictable. I am always prepared for a tantrum when she doesn't get her way now. They seem to be happening more frequently again. I am bringing her to the Pediatrician today to check for an ear infection. She has been pulling a little on her ears. She had tubes put in when she had her palate repaired 3 weeks ago. I need to just rule out the ear infection possibility. I would love to blame this behavior on that. Some how though, I think it is still adjustment issues, post surgery issues and typical 2 1/2 year old behavior. Exhausting. Not fun. Tear inducing. Just plain miserable. I have never hoped for an ear infection in one of my kids before but today I am hoping for one. That sounds horrible, but true. If a course of antibiotics could cure these tantrums I would be thrilled!! I would even add being thankful for antibiotics to my Thanksgiving thankful list!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Hmmmm....What happened 2 months ago today?

We were joined together forever! A family forever and ever!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update on Operation Roof Top

Love this jacket! Wish I bought another one in China for next year.

Picking up leaves. One by one.

4 days after surgery. Ariel dress up can always make a girl feel better.

Happy 12th birthday Gavin!!

I know some people have been asking round the "blog" world how Lily is doing because I haven't posted this week. Sorry, I don't know where the time has gone. Thank you for thinking of us. Well, she is doing just fine. After a few days she was back to her normal self. Amazing how resilient these youngsters are. "Operation Roof Top" (named by a dear friend) was mostly a success. I mean mostly because she has developed a fistula (hole) on part of her soft palate incision line. Totally disappointing. I was so not expecting it to happen. I knew it could happen but still wasn't expecting it. The fistula is about the size of a pencil eraser head. All things considered, her palate is greatly improved. Her cleft before was an opening all the way down her entire hard/soft palate. I guess we can now deal with a little hole. We have another appointment at Children's Hospital this Monday for Dr. Mulliken to look at it again. I spoke with the nurse at his office today. Nothing really to do for now, just wait to see what happens. It could get smaller or close on its own (not likely). Only time will tell. If it doesn't close on its own it will need to be surgically closed when she has her next surgery. Probably when she has her nose/lip revision. I will get more info on Monday......

We celebrated Gavin's 12th birthday 2 days after we got home from the hospital. We had ice cream sundaes, no cake. Lily couldn't have cake so we opted for sundaes with all the fixings. Enjoyed by all, including Lily (no fixings, just ice cream). I can't believe he is 12. Hard to believe he will be in his "teens" shortly. He is a wonderful, thoughtful, caring, polite 12 year old. He has his moments though, believe me. Like when he told me yesterday I was annoying. He was serious, not kidding around. Oh boy. He got an ear full for that one. We are so proud of him, even with his "moments". We couldn't have asked for a better son. Happy 12th birthday Gavin!! We love you. Tons.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Post Op

Yes, I am in a crib. The only way Lily would settle in the recovery room was for me to climb into the crib and have her lay on me. Believe me, I asked the nurse if the crib would hold, lets just say a slightly larger than average person. She assured me it would and that I wasn't the first to climb on up into a toddler crib. Lily had a hard time coming out of anesthesia and pain control. She cried for at least 1 1/2 hours straight. The surgeon repaired her palate, purposely fractured a piece of her maxilla, and ear tubes were put in. Ouch!! Mega doses of Morphine were given in the recovery room. Finally she fell asleep on me. What an awful feeling to see your child have to experience such pain. Once she got "captured" with her pain medicine she did better.

Her poor little face is so swollen. Adult man hands were in her little mouth for 5 hours. You can only imagine how her face/mouth must feel.

Lily hugging "Pinky", the elephant wearing a diaper.

Post op day 1. Her face looks a little better. A little less swollen. This morning started out good. Lily was happy. Wanting to play and walk around. Napped a few times in the a.m.. She took an afternoon nap and when she woke things went downhill from there. She was very cranky, crying and clingy. She has vomited a few times this evening from her starting to drink clear liquids. Her little tummy just wasn't ready to start drinking yet. Her IV got hooked back up. Zofran was started for her nausea/vomiting. No more episodes since, knock on wood. Knock, knock.
Our room also got changed from a private room to semi private. Sucky, to put it nicely. They needed the private room for an isolation patient. Damn. Very annoying to have another family in the same room while your child is trying to recover. The other little girl is crying right now. UGH!!! Get me home!!!!
Over all the surgery went well. We are hoping to get out of here tomorrow. Hopefully she can keep liquids down in the a.m.. Please little belly, keep those liquids down. We need to go home.
I miss my kids!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


On our way to Children's Hospital for Lily's cleft palate repair/ear tubes. We left the house this morning @ 4:30 a.m.. Lily was oblivious as to why we were in the car so early. She was her happy little self though. She loves to ride in "Mommy's Car". My heart aches knowing in a few hours she will be in pain and will not understand what is going on.

Playing with toys before making our way into the OR.
Her surgery was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. this morning. She is currently in the OR now and we are waiting for an update from the Surgeon. The surgery will take about 4 hours. We are currently 2 hours in. I got to walk into the OR (#12) with her. She was crying a little because "Daddy" couldn't go, only one of us could. She didn't want to leave him behind. I held her while the anesthesia was administered through a mask on her face. She cried. Having an ambu mask on your face isn't comfortable. Suffocating really (even though it does help you breathe). In about 1 minute she was sleeping. I left..........crying.
I just want these next few days to pass quickly with little trauma. She has done so well these past 6 weeks. I am praying we don't take many steps backwards. Explaining to a 2 1/2 y.o. who only partially understands English what is happening is pretty much impossible. She is so resilient though. I know she will be Ok. As a mother you never want your children to experience pain. She will be so confused after surgery in the recovery room. Not knowing what just happened. I am nervous about seeing her in recovery. As a nurse I know she will be uncomfortable, pale, confused, crying.
We just got an update right now. Things are going well. Dr. Mulliken made his first incision @ 8:30 am. So probably around 4 hours from then she will be finished. We are having all her adoption lab work drawn will she is under anesthesia also. This will save her from having that traumatic experience of having vials of blood drawn at the pediatricians office.
I will update later.

The Nerd, The Old Lady and the Butterfly

Lily enjoyed herself at an adoption Halloween party. Candy, face painting, food, music, balloons and other children. She had a ball!!

Lily loves lollipops. She would eat them 24/7 if we would let her!

All smiles.

Loves the swing. Makes her laugh every time.

The Butterfly.

The Nerd, The Old Lady, and the Butterfly.

Misty and Jay- This one is for you. I know you would appreciate it. The backpack is still with us! She even had to wear it with her costume! She won't leave home without it. Miss you guys!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It has officially been 6 weeks since Lily has come into our lives. Hard to believe, in a good way. We have been very busy chasing a toddler around, trying to keep up with her. We have been to MANY doctors appointments for her upcoming surgery. She is scheduled for her palate repair November 3rd. One week from today, actually. We are nervous but realize it needs to be done. Her surgeon comes highly recommended by many. I am mostly nervous about her recovery period. She has to be on full liquids for 1 week post op. Then a "soft diet" for 5 more weeks. Of course we are worried about pain management but somehow I think food is going to be her issue. She still loves to eat! She has gained 3 pounds in 6 weeks. Truly amazing.

We are going to lay low for the next week before her surgery. I am so scared she will get sick before surgery and we will have to cancel. There is so much crap going around right now. I actually have been sick for a week. A mild flu, I think. Stomach issues, sore throat, aches. Mild, but I just don't feel right. I am praying no one else gets it. Super good hand washing going on in this household right now.

Lily continues to do great. She is happy, silly and loves to laugh most of the time. It is so cute. She is so full of life. She really is a character. She still loves to put on her "performances" for everyone. Her stage is the fireplace hearth. She stands on it and sings, hips swaying and hands clapping. This little girl can make you laugh. Lily's favorite thing right now is Dora the explorer. Dora was one of the first words she learned to say in English. She has Dora pajamas and wants to wear them every night.

I have to return to work at the end of November. Right after Thanksgiving. While we were in China I technically got laid off from work. I found out that little tidbit of information when we landed in Newark, NJ on our LONG journey home. I am a NICU nurse and the NICU I work in is down sizing. Nine of us got laid off. We were able to take other positions in the hospital that were available. So...... long story short, I still have a job, just in pediatrics, not NICU. I have mixed feelings about it. I LOVE the NICU. I have worked in a NICU for 17 years. I don't want to do anything else. BUT........... the bills have to be paid. So off to work I go at the end of November to pediatrics. It will be ok for now. My main focus is our family and the adjustments we are going through right now. Once I get the work routine down I may look for another NICU job. Right now I cant even imagine having to deal with resumes and interviewing for a new job. I will give pediatrics a try for a while and then decide what to do. For now though we need to get through Lily's surgery then adjust to my work schedule. I only work part time, two night shifts a week. We will adjust and manage. Hopefully well. Praying for an easy adjustment.

I will update again around surgery time. I plan on bringing my laptop to the hospital so I can update everyone on Lily's surgery. Positive thoughts and many prayers please!!