About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


We knew there was a chance that Mei Mei would need additional surgeries once she got home, but quite honestly, since her lip and palate had been repaired in China, I was hopeful that this wouldn't actually be needed.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  It seems that her soft palate developed a fistula (opening) and so when we went to the cleft clinic back in March, they indicated that yes indeed, it did need to be repaired.
Originally they had wanted her to go in for the operation at the beginning of April, but neither J nor I felt comfortable with that--just too many changes for the poor little peanut!  They had an opening at the end of April so we decided to go ahead.  Oh, and it also happens to fall on our 14th anniversary.  Not quite the way I had hoped to spend my anniversary, but at least J and I are together.
She will end up having a cleft plate repair with a z-plasty which will not only close the fistula but also elongate her palate, thus providing better closure for speech.  The surgeon will also inject a little collagen into her top lip to even out the fullness and finally, the ENT will put in tubes.  Whew!
Over Spring Break we took a visit down to the Clinic and met with a child life specialist for a tour and to help Mei Mei begin to understand what was coming.  The good news is that we went through (some of) this with the Noodle, so at least we know what to expect. Liquids and then soft foods for a few weeks, and hopefully just one overnight in the hospital.
It won't be pretty, but when I think about the kinds of surgeries that she could be having, it is on the more minor end.  My heart does break for her when I reflect about what she went through while she was an infant in China and how scared, confused and alone she must of felt.  Poor baby!!  I feel so blessed that even while she has to go through more procedures, now she has a Mama, Daddy and sister who love her and are willing to move the moon for her to feel comfortable and at peace.  I know that God will be in that O.R. watching over her and guiding all the professionals who will be managing her care.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Break

In all honesty, I was a bit nervous heading into Spring Break.  I didn't know how it was going to go having both of the girls at home for a whole week.  I wrote a bit about it here.  Thankfully it went great!!  I feel like we've jumped over a major hurdle and things are finally starting to smooth out--what an answer to prayer!!  

They got along so well, and there were times when the Noodle was the only one Mei Mei would listen or respond to, which totally made me laugh :)

 The Noodle is now my "go-to gal" when Mei Mei is being a stubborn, feisty 2 year-old!

By Friday they were starting to get tired of each other and there was more typical sibling bickering, but it was so much better than what we had been dealing with.

I tried to find a good balance so that we had something fun planned each day (playdates, zoo, storytime, Natural History museum, etc.) but that there was also lots of downtime to just play and chill.  It seemed to work.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Weekend

The Noodle has been really interested in dinosaurs lately, so we decided on Good Friday to go to the Natural History Museum to check out the local dinos.  After that we met up with Daddy for lunch--always fun and sure to bring out the smiles and giggles.  Since I didn't want to let Good Friday slip by without remember the real reason we celebrate (?) it, after Mei Mei's nap we made Resurrection Rolls (link here) . Once Daddy got home we dyed eggs which was fun too.

On Saturday J put in our new kitchen counter and a new sink.  It was great to have it in time for Easter, but it made prepping for Easter brunch (which is held at our house) a bit more challenging...no worries though. Everything got done, just as J kept telling me it would :)

The Noodle was beyond excited this year and so had a hard time going to sleep and then work up suuuuper early.  Of course, the one morning Mei Mei slept in was the morning when we wanted her to wake up! Figures--ha ha!  After everyone found their baskets and we did the jelly bean hunt, it was time to get to church.  I wish I could say that it was a good service but I really wouldn't know.  We barely made it through the worship songs before Mei Mei was ready to go prowl around.  By the start of the sermon, it was pretty obvious that she wasn't going to be content to remain, so we made our (quiet) exit.  As a side note, we've been keeping her with us during the service rather than taking her to the nursery/Sunday School, but after everything calms down from her surgery, happening at the end of the month, we'll probably start.  I certainly miss it!!

Grandma, Grandpa, Lollie and Papa came over after their services and we all had brunch--basically eating ourselves into a stupor.  I really didn't think Mei Mei would go down for a nap, but during the middle of brunch she got really quite and as the meal wore on, she could barely keep her eyes open.  She went up for a snooze and everyone else went out to enjoy the glorious sunshine.  

Papa and the Noodle played catch, J and Grandpa took a walk down to the Lake and the "ladies" just chatted.  Once Mei Mei woke up, we had our Easter Egg hunt and then played around a bit more outside until it was time to go in and clean up.  

We were once again blessed with a beautiful day and to have our family surrounding us.  Most importantly, we are blessed to be loved so much that our loving Father sent his one and only Son to die a terrible death...so that we might live.  Awesome and definitely a reason to sing praises!!  Hallelujah, Christ has risen!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Big Smiles

Don't these smiles just melt your heart?!
We're excited to start Spring Break, visit a couple of museums, have lunch with daddy, learn more about dinosaurs (the latest interest), visit the barn and just R.E.L.A.X.!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A big ol' slice of humble pie

So this post has been percolating for quite a while now...but I keep putting it off.  Because, well, it isn't an easy one to write.
If I may be brutally honest, there's nothing like parenthood to humble you.  I mean, most times, I like to think that I've got my stuff together.  But then something will happen, and I realize just how much I don't have it together.  Like I don't have a clue.  At all.
This cuts a little too close to home for me, because before I stayed at home (with both the Noodle and now Mei Mei), I taught in a self-contained classroom for Children with Autism.  What did I work on 99.9% of the time?  Behavior.  Specifically behavior modification.  For like reeeealllly challenging behaviors.  And you know what?  I was pretty good at it.  Pretty good at figuring out what the behavior was trying to communicate.  Pretty good at determining what the antecedents were (i.e. those things that lead up to a behavior happening that cause someone to go off).  Pretty good at coming up with strategies to replace the problem behaviors.  Pretty good at ignoring said problem behaviors.
So you can imagine my frustration when I put on my b-mod hat, pull out all my tricks and they all BOMB.  Now don't get me wrong.  Neither the Noodle nor Mei Mei are anywhere on the Autism spectrum nor do they have anywhere near the behaviors that I dealt with day in and day out in my classroom.  But.......temper tantrums are all too frequent, sharing of time, attention and "stuff" is HARD, frustration levels are running high and many days there is just a thin veneer of calm that shatters instantly if a look, comment or object is taken without warning.
Lord help me.  That pretty much sums up my prayer life lately.  Guide me.  Direct me.  And the hardest one (but probably the most important one of all) humble me.  And you know what?  He is...by saying "trust in ME".  "I am in control...NOT you.  No amount of charts, reinforcers, plans, etc. can do what I can do."
I don't think for a second that God isn't at the center of our situation.  I do have a sneaky hunch that this may be just as much about me yielding as it is about the kiddos.  Talk about humbling.  God certainly knows how to knock us off our pride pedestal right where we need it the most, no?!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun Friday!

There's nothing better than a lunch date with Daddy down at his office!  Happy weekend :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Could it be...Spring?!

Could it be that Spring is finally showing her face around these parts?  Even though the calendar has flipped to April, I know that snow is still a possibility, but we had a couple of warmer days--in a row--so I'm hoping!

Last weekend we brought out the trike for Mei Mei and proceeded to teach her how to ride it.  That whole 'push your foot down on the pedal' isn't always easy.  Especially when you stop and want to get going again! Then you add the turning bit.  It is a lot for a little body to master!  But she did it.

Now she's peddling around like a pro.  I love to sit and watch both of them.  For the most part, they are in "the zone" and are content to just ride around and around.  Hello Spring!

Friday, April 4, 2014

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Well it was inevitable that it would happen.  It was just a matter of time.  With one of them or the other.  I did it when I was three too.

Wonder what I'm talking about?  Jumping on the bed and breaking it.
My best friend from high school was over the other day with two of her three girls to meet Mei Mei.  The girls decided to go upstairs to Mei Mei's room while we were down in the treehouse chatting.  It wasn't more than 5-8 minutes.  All of a sudden, the kindergartner came down with a sheepish look on her face.  As we were trying to discern what had happened, Mei Mei came barreling into the room, most adamant that the kindergartner come with her--I think she knew she was busted.  Ha!
When we got up to Mei Mei's room, we saw the two youngest slumped against the railing, looking very guilty.  I'm still not sure exactly how and what happened, but thankfully J was able to fix it.  He had a little helper who was only too eager to assist.