August 31, 2011

If they’re quiet, they’re sick.

  I know it’s been quiet around here.

Actually, if you listened long enough, I’m sure you could hear someone vomiting in my toilet.

Yesterday was the first day in two weeks that we made it a full 24 hours without someone having a fever and/or throwing up in the middle of the night.  whew.  This Mama is tired.


But I think we’re through it. (Definitely just jinxed myself.)  And hopefully things can get back to normal – like – you know, having wearable clothes, getting all the food off the floor – completely and totally disinfecting the bathroom.  Those kinds of things. 


Off to enjoy children who’s foreheads don’t feel hot and changing diapers that are not full of uumm…something that was eaten entirely too recently.  Update later.

August 22, 2011


  One of the quirks of Bella’s illness is that any time that she has a fever over 100.4 degrees, she has to be to the emergency room in no more than 45 minutes time.    In my house, 100.4 hardly constitutes a fever – but I’ll leave that up to the docs.  In the case of a fever, she generally has to spend 2 days in the hospital for observation. (Which immediately leaves me asking really?  you placed her with us?  did I mention we have no experience with immune-compromised kids?) We had successfully avoided all of this so far.


  Our family has been slowly but surely passing around a bug that leaves it’s victims with a fever, aches, and errrrr…..diaper rash – comprendo?  We actually thought we had gotten through the storm without Bella catching it, and we were shocked to say the least.

  But, as one might guess, her little compromised immune system gave in to the germies.


  Friday night she wasn’t feeling well, but no sign of fever.  We did an early bedtime and crossed our fingers that it would all disappear overnight.  At 11:00 she woke me up complaining of a headache, and sure enough, she felt warm.

  We took her temp – 101.6 – and immediately called the on call nurse in her unit.  There was some debate as to whether to take her in, but in the end they decided that we should head to the ER.  A friend of ours came to the house so that we could leave Sylvia, but Brian, Naomi, Bella, and I loaded up the car and headed out.


  Brian wasn’t feeling good when I woke him up, but that was really the last thing on my mind (sorry, hun.).  We got to the hospital and got into a triage room as quickly as possible, because in the ER, there are approximately 5 billion different contagious diseases floating around.  Quite the irony, really.


  They got her in and started doing lab work.  In the meantime, Brian almost passed out in the hallway and the nurses had to see to him as much as they were seeing to Bella.  Poor guy was white as a ghost and had chills and hot flashes. 

  After 3 hours in the ER they decided to give her some really strong antibiotics via IV.  The incredible part is that we got her labs back and her levels were over 5,000!!! – which is as high as any normal immune system runs.  I am completely convinced that this is due to nutrition – but all that for another post.

  The good news is, that since her levels were so high, when we got done with the antibiotics we got to go home! 


  I know that makes for an anti-climactic story.  But that’s how we like them around here.  The less drama, the better, because when fostering, you can always be sure there is some more right around the corner.  We’re just praying it doesn’t involve the ER again.


  So, we are tired. (very. Still.)  but we are so thankful that we have three healthy girls.  (And Brian recovered too.)  Ahhhhhh – all in a (very long) day’s work.

August 19, 2011

4 Months.

Last night after you fell asleep I was laying there looking at you, and I was thinking about what a miracle you are and how much I love you.


This breaks my heart.  But I also think you have the cutest cry ever.


I’ve decided that I don’t think you’ll ever understand how much I love you.  Even after you become a Mommy, I don’t think you can fathom it – it’s just that much.  I will discipline you and try to teach you.  I will try to offer grace and to show you what love is.  Sometimes you will think I am being mean, unreasonable, you won’t understand why I don’t just let you do whatever you want, you’ll swear I just don’t understand you, you will forget that I’ve been there.  I will do it all out of love for you, in hopes that someday you will understand.  I wish you could understand now, but I know it’s a process.  Sometimes I wish that I could just make all of your decisions for you, but I know you have to learn. I love you more than you know, and I hope that in the end, that is the conclusion you come to.


After all of these thoughts flooded through my head, I realized that much of it is probably what God wishes for me – in fact I could probably go back to that paragraph and read it as a letter from Him.

Maybe that’s part of God’s plan in being a Mommy.  To give us just a glimpse of how He feels for us, how much He loves us, His heart for us.  And if this is just a glimpse, it is true that I will never be able to fathom the true immensity of His love.  I am grateful for this glimpse.  For this opportunity to experience love for someone that outweighs all else.


You are the happiest baby.  I said that about your sister too – but I’m pretty sure you’re even happier than her.  You are always smiling and giggling and you look at me like I am the best thing you’ve ever laid eyes on.  It melts me.  The only time you fuss is if you’re really hungry, but even that is rare.

You love your sisters, but I think you have a proper fear of them.  When you hear Sylvia’s voice coming closer you get a little bit of a concerned look on your face and look at me for reassurance.  “You’re going to save me, right mom?”  Sylvia loves you, she’s just lacking in self control – soon you’ll be the same way and then I think you’ll both just perpetually have black eyes or something.


I left you with someone else for the first time this week.  That first time is always difficult, a little like I can’t catch my breath.  You did pretty well – but you missed your Mommy – and to be honest, I’m alright with that.


You roll like crazy now.  You also laugh like crazy, and I’m afraid that you took after me and are terribly ticklish.  You’ll love that until your about 20.  You’re laid back right now – a very easy baby – but you are very, very squirmy, which makes me think that you might be just as active as your sister.  This leaves Mommy feeling a little nervous.

At your 2 month appointment you were 10lbs. 6oz. – small, to be expected.  And I can’t wait to see what you are at your 4 month appointment!



Your cousins are crazy about you.

I love you.  You are awesome, and beautiful, and (given that smile) in a few short years you will be able to talk your Daddy into anything.  Be kind with that.




Love you, love you, love you,





August 17, 2011

Pictures from Coyeewado.


Our children, if they had their way of it, would have swung the entire time that we were there.  I think we averaged about four hours a day of swinging.  Luckily, our friends’ children also love to swing – so we had company.



There were over 67 kids there.  Holy cow.  We were one of two families that are not interracial.  You want diversity?  Come to adoptive/foster family camp.



One night for the evening activity they hang a log from the ceiling, you sit facing your partner on the log (too high up for your feet to be on the ground) and you try to knock each other off with pillows.  It’s a lot of fun.  I did it with Bella, and we have pics, but they show her full face.  She was almost too scared to get on, but she did, and she beat me!










Bella and Sylvie’s friend Banke.  Tooooooo cute.








Getting popcorn at Western Night.



Looovvviiinnngg line dancing at Western Night.  So fun.










Painting rocks as souvenirs.






Sylvie and her stunt double, Davey.







Originally Bella was supposed to do the climbing wall, but decided she didn’t want to at the last minute, so I went up.  The entire time I was climbing Sylvie screamed and cried “Mommy hold you!!”






brushing teeth together.



Sylvie ringing the dinner bell.



Deciding we should share my necklace.  (We both wore it simultaneously most of the night).


Our girls with our friends’ girls.  Left to right Sylvie, Gracey, Jaimes, Naomi, Bella, and Davey.  Sylvie was not cooperating.





We have so many great pictures that I couldn’t put up because they have Bella’s face in them.  Bummer.  But great memories none the less.

August 15, 2011

Going to the Fountains.

I mean the mountains.  Where we get wet?  They are big.  But do we need our swimsuits?  …All very confusing for Bella.  We couldn’t help but chuckle.




We just got back from Horn Creek.  It was wonderful in about 100 different ways.  The words relaxing and family time can actually be used in the same sentence when you’re there.  I know.  Right?  You don’t believe me.  But it’s true.










  The girls had so much fun.  The entire week was packed full of things that they thought were the most fun things ever, in the entire world. ever.  We went bowling, swinging, on the waterslides, swimming, swinging, on adventure walks (named by Bella), line dancing, swinging, rock wall climbing, horse back riding, and swinging.  (Did I mention we spent some time on the swings?  We did.)



Sylvia sang Old Macdonald had a Farm the whole time she was riding the horse.  With a neigh neigh here and a neigh neigh there.  Horse back riding happened to be one of the very first things that we did that week – and we immediately discovered that Bella is allergic to horses.  It ended in a trip to the urgent care a two hour drive and a three hour wait away – but we got it all cleared up – she’s not bright red anymore.





I love spending time with my family.  Nothing I like much better.  So spending time with my family and being in the Rocky Mountains?  Perfect. 


This is us catching our breakfast.  One morning they make pancakes and you have to catch them mid-air on your plate.  The girls looovvveeedd it.


Very proud.








We met some friends there that have a two and a half year old little girl and a four year old little boy.  The kids love each other and had so much fun playing together.


Of all the wonderful things that week, the community definitely ranks number one.  Everyone there was either a foster or adoptive parent.  It was so nice to feel like our family was normal.  When kids had crazy meltdowns or behaviors came out of the woodwork – everyone there understood and was supportive.

It was this refreshing ‘Other people understand this insanity’ – in the midst of the insanity that is fostering and adopting.

The couple who lead the week run a foster and adoptive care ministry in Texas.  We had group time for the moms and for the dads where we talked about therapeutic parenting techniques, behavioral issues, and gloried in the phrases, “yeah, my child does that too” and “this is what worked for me.”

Aaaahhh, can I go back now?



Sylvie and her friend Davey on western night.  They could be stunt doubles for each other.




Before I post a bajillion pictures, I’ll just wait and do a whole different post of just pictures – because I can’t just pick a few.


While we were there we also got hooked up with some really great (and some free!) resources for foster and adoptive parents.  I’ll share on those later for sure.


So.  Next year, if you are a foster or adoptive parent (or grandparent, or relative, etc.), you should go to this week of Horn Creek.  Totally worth it.  Make room for it in your summer.  Start saving now.  Be there.  We will be.


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