Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back to business...

Picture of the extended family = Good (sort of, Lu is sticking her tongue out, Norah is giving the biggest stink eye of all time and Jacob was being forcibly restrained by my father in law--but knowing our family it is the best we were going to get).

Trying to get a family photo of my stinky little stinkers that wouldn't look at the camera = Not Good (check out Norah..she was mad!! As my sister Nie says "there is a large angry black woman in there...")

We had Gracie's blessing at home right after she was born. For those that don't know, in our faith we give our babies a special blessing when they are small to formally enter their names in the records of the church. Baptism occurs at age 8. So the blessing is like a less elaborate christening. I have heard them called dedications in other faiths. Anyway, it usually involves doing it in front of the congregation, having a special white dress and a potluck/party afterwards. My mom was in town when Ace was tiny so we just decided to do it then. The great part about doing it at home was that A) no one had to get dressed up and B) I didn't have to host a big party.

If I have any more kids, I am doing it this way again. We also ended the day the way that all good gatherings should end; with a game of Guitar Hero. Norah is our favorite family member to duel because she totally STINKS at this game....extra credit if you can guess where her hair ends and the TV stand begins...

I am also going to try and blog more. A lot more. It occurred to me that I have things to say and I miss having a place to put my thoughts down. When I blog so infrequently, I feel like I have to do the obligatory "update" post and I have more to say than that. I don't know if anyone wants to hear any more than that, but that isn't the point of this blog. I was re reading all our posts (both the published and the unpublished ones) from our experiences with our adoptions. It is so amazing to see how dumb/naive we were at first and how much we have grown and learned since then. I have just come out of a year of rebuilding and some pretty major events in my family (both good and bad ones). I have been writing this year too. Much of it will never see the light of day in blog-land, and that is OK too. I think the point of writing is so that we can see progress. Sometimes it is in the wrong direction, but it is still movement. Right?

So, check back for more posts. And, I have a few questions and topics that I would like to discuss and would love feedback on, or just a general discussion.

Here is your teaser--which member of my family was picked to be on a reality TV show (almost)? What would YOU tell the Gap in a focus group? Do you know a blogger (or multiple bloggers) that seem to be be very sweet and nice and sunshiny and are quite popular in blogland and have almost made a brand of themselves, but you know them in real life and they are kind of mean or not at all what they seem? Does it bug you? Should it? After all, we choose the parts we want to show on a blog (as opposed to, reality TV where you are at the mercy of the editors....)..... Does it make you want to write anonymous comments to them before you remember that you aren't actually 12? Me neither.

Gratuitous Ace Photo

Thursday, April 24, 2008


So, my computer is getting "healed" right now and I will be able to upload pictures by the end of the day. Finally. I have to say that having a small camera on my phone has been pretty fun. Here is a sampling of the pictures we have taken lately. These tend to be "A Day In The Life" pictures.

I have a more informative post coming soon, but suffice it to say that we are all doing really well. I am feeling great and already cannot believe that I ever was pregnant. The baby perfect. She is sweet and peaceful and a great sleeper. We are still working on her eating, but I think she is doing just fine. We start therapies for her next week (that should be interesting). The kids are adjusting really well. Jacob is very sweet with her and is the only one that is at all interested in holding her anymore, Norah thinks she is a doll and chants "my baby" over and over when she sees her. Lauren still loves to play with her, but anything over 10 seconds is too long for her. Derek is smitten. He can often be heard saying "she is so cute I can't even stand it". This girl already has him worked. It took the other kids at least a year to get to this point.

These are for you, Heather and Beth.

This picture captures my life pretty well, TV, bread and butter, baby, cooking magazines (I just read, not actually cook these days) and my bed. Welcome to my world.

Jacob--still naked most of the time, still loves his bubble baths and still my silly, funny boy.

Apparently Norah found the phone

Jacob asked Derek for a pen in church. Then he struck this pose and said "what do you need from the grocery store dad? Ice Cream? Diet Coke?". I might be going to hell because I took a picture during sacrament meeting, but at least we weren't in the chapel.

Gracie's Indian name would be "Ace Longtorso"

The "bookends", Lulu and Gracie.....(Cubby and Norah are the "mids", as in mid(dle) kids)

We play music after dinner and the kids dance while I clean up. It gets the wiggles out and helps us leave the evening on a happy note, since they are wild animals at night anyway. Currently we are loving anything Abba, Mika's "Lollipop" and the soundtrack from Enchanted.

Come on, is she the cutest or what? Go Cardinal

But it is amazing how quickly she transforms from adorable to Micky Rooney

Apparently, Cubby also found my phone

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Seriously people!!

First we had a computer down, then the Internet (can you believe I lived without Internet for three days???). I don't know who has had babies, who is fighting or what the guest judges thought about the last elimination on Top Chef.

I also have a ton of updates AND pictures (but sadly, Ace still looks an awful lot like Micky Rooney). My mom was here for a few days and spent the whole time admiring my children and feeding them. She took the 4:00 am shift with Ace and let me sleep. It was heaven. My sister Kate is here now. She lives in London and is in town with her fiance Matt TO GET MARRIED! Matt is from Australia and the my while both living in London. Now they are going to get married and move back to the UK and we will never get to see their adorable kids. It has been fun getting to know him and when I close my eyes I can imagine that Jeff Wiggle is in my living room. ;-)

I will upload everything tomorrow... so please hang in with me. Till tomorrow.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Good one...

I remember when I thought newborns were hard. Back in the day when I had ones that would EAT!! :-)

I keep meaning to get on here and post, but then I don't. Either I am too tired, too busy dealing with older kids that are trying to adjust (and this manifests itself in the form of wanting to be held-Cubby, throwing tantrums-Norah or being a sassy pants--Lu), eating or feeding someone. I had taken some really fun and good pictures of the baby, but they are on my phone and I haven't taken the time to figure out how to download them yet. Nor have I managed to gather my thoughts. Or get dressed. You know how it goes.

So, I will recap the week in list form. Forgive me, but this is the best I can do.

--Doctors. I have spent an average of 2 hours per day at the doctor. Between the two girls, there is A LOT to do. Grace Ace hasn't yet regained her birth weight and she yo yo's between staying steady and loosing weight. Feeding her is a full time job. I am SO glad that I am not breastfeeding. I had decided not to before she was born, but this cements it. Sometimes it takes her an hour to get an ounce down. She needs to have 12-14 ounces a day. You do the math. This is also why I have full time child care. Next week we start the therapies (there are meetings w/ social workers, infant development specialists, audiologists, optometrists, etc, etc, for both girls...). At least I get out of the house.

--Trying to get my milk to dry up was the WORST part of the whole process. It hurts and apparently, my body really wants to make milk. Lots of it. If anyone you know decides to go this route, let me know. The lactation consultant gave me bad advice and made things worse, but she gave me really great advice about helping the baby eat and finding the right bottle for her little mouth, so they aren't all bad. Don't get me started about the nurses at the hospital and the whole breastfeeding thing. My life, my body, my kid, my boobs, my sanity. My choice. I know that some of my readers have very strong opinions about this subject. Great. If you were here to wet nurse for me, all the better, but this subject is one that I am very happy to defend myself on, but probably won't, because I am too tired.

--Ace's blood count came back funny. Children with Trisomy 21 (the real name for Down Syndrome) have a much higher chance of getting certain kinds of leukemia. We had to retest her blood. It took forever and they kept having to prick her heel over and over. I hate that part. Lucky for me they had lots of lollipops in their basket, I keep feeding them to Norah. She was pretty unhappy that they were making her baby cry.

--Speaking of Norah and sugar. Guess who hasn't really gained any weight and is back on the official "failure to thrive" list and force feeding program? That's right. The difference is that before she really didn't eat. It was a challenge just to get the food into her. Now, she eats all the time and she eats A LOT. But, I have to get more calories into her. We have smoothies made w/ cream and ice cream twice a day, she gets all the sugar she wants (empty calories, I know but they are still calories..), etc. I honestly spend much of my day getting my two girls to eat. Ironic for a mother that LOVES to eat, eh? I don't know if N has a super high metabolism or if this is part of what is wrong with her. I am anxious for the development center to get started on these tests. There is no way that a child that is eating as much as she is, isn't gaining weight. Well, I mean, clearly she isn't but there must be a better reason than the fact that she isn't eating enough, because she is. She still isn't walking, but we are working on it. We have added a few words too, so we are slowly, slowly making progress.

--Lauren thinks that she is 18. She also manages to put together outfits that make he look like a Bratz doll. She has such a unique sense of style and puts together some really cool outfits, but occasionally they get a little heavy on the fishnets (she got them from MY drawer) and boas and corsets (she made one for herself out of felt and yarn..I am not kidding). I have had to come down really hard on her to not parent everyone, including me. I can do nothing right when it comes to the baby, according to her, and she is really hard on Jacob. Mostly, I need to teach her that she doesn't have to worry about anyone but herself. I know this is a coping mechanism for her and a way to impose order in her life, but she needs to chill out or she is going to have a stroke at 11. I have caught her packing to run away a few times. The last time, I saw the suitcase and said "are you running away?" and she looked at me and said "I am afraid it is true this time". Classic. I laughed. I tried so hard not to..but I couldn't help it.

--Jacob is getting better in terms of not destroying things. I love, love, love this house. I love the yard and the little family room nook. He can play and putter and go in and out without too much work. The kids call the nanny flat "the hotel". Right now, they get rewarded for good behaviour by getting to play in the Hotel. Yay. He and Norah have done pretty well sharing a room. Occasionally Norah will cry a bit before she sleeps. Jacob will lay on his bed, with his fingers in his ears, shouting "I HATE this song" over and over. My kids are pretty funny. Other than the fact that he asks me for food ALL DAY LONG (but he is able to access lots of healthy snacks on his own) over and over and over again, things are OK. Having a new minivan with a DVD player in it helps too. He loves to sit in the car and watch movies. I love that he is strapped in. Everyone wins..

Finally, this weekend is the 11th anniversary of the day my husband and I got engaged (he reminded me). It has been a tricky year. My mom is coming to town to help with the baby (her original due date was a few days ago). Derek and I are going to have a fancy dinner and stay at a hotel. To sleep. Where no one can interrupt us. That is what 4 kids does to you. You are excited about a hotel for the food you don't have to make and for the 12 hours of sleep you will get. I can't imagine anything better at this point.

I have so many posts in my head that are about intellectual things or pop culture things. I have some thoughts on Top Chef, on how much I hate that the women of America crucified Eliot Spitzers wife (this post might still get written..I am bugged about this), my obsession with The Biggest Looser, etc, etc. Someday.

Will my brain stop leaking. Will my kids ever stop fighting? Will I ever sleep again?