Thursday, June 27, 2013

A break.

We're taking a little break from the housing market.  After I had cleaned the house, packed the kids and the dog into the car in the 100 degree heat, yelled at Lila for not getting buckled like she was supposed to (internally battled myself with one voice that said I should feel guilty for yelling at her and the other voice that said I was justified because FOR THE LOVE she knows the drill and she knows it's not okay to mess around when she's supposed to be getting buckled and then my brain settled the argument with a compromise: I was justified for feeling angry and frustrated, but not for yelling so I apologized to her and explained why I was so frustrated and then she said in the most pathetic voice - just to rub it in - "Yeah.  You shouldn't yell at me."  SIGH.) and just as I pulled into the parking spot at Chick-fil-a I got a call from the showing company that the showing that was supposed to start in 15 minutes - the one for which all the fore-mentioned ado had been necessary - had been cancelled.

"Bad words, bad words, bad words, bad words."  That's what my brain thought.

And then it thought this:

"This is costing too much.  The stress, the heat, the yelling at my kids.  It's not worth it.  It's costing our family too much to try to sell our house right now."

The thing is, we got an offer over the weekend.  A low-ball offer that got our hopes up only to crash them down again.  So we're trying to figure out what our next step is and I just realized that I can't think clearly in all this stress so I called the Husband and said, "We need to take our house off the market for a week so I can think."

And because he's a good and clever man who - after seven years of marriage - knows the tone in my voice that says, "Just agree, okay?  Don't ask questions.  Just say okay" he said, "Okay."

And I called our wonderful agent who has done everything humanly possible to help us sell our house and said, "Please take our house off the market."

And she said, "Okay."

And I feel so much better.  Because I know that I get to STAY HOME ALL DAY TOMORROW IF I WANT TO.  Those capital letters?  That's my introverted self talking.  I just want to stay home in my pajamas all day and not make the bed.  I want to make the kids lunch and not immediately clean up the dishes.  I want to give that vacuum cleaner a rest and only empty the trash bags when they're full.  I want to actually LIVE in my house.

We still want to move.  But we just need to pray about how and where and when that can and should happen.  So we're taking a break.

In other news, we went to Minnesota last weekend for one of my college roommate's wedding and it was so fun!  We were all a little exhausted and the joke was that out of the four of us, Faith acted the least like a baby.  The three of us who aren't babies were pretty emotional and whiny and pathetic at certain points in the weekend, but Faith was just all smiles and coos.  And snot.  Because guess what?  The girl caught her sister's cold AGAIN.  But this time we were armed with a nebulizer so things didn't fall apart the way they did the last time.  Phew.  Still, I'm ready - for her sake - for her to be better.  Poor thing is her version of miserable which is a normal person's mildly cranky.  She's a trooper, that one.  We are grateful for a happy baby!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Faith Baby learned a new trick

We started at a new "school" for Faith this week and I am in love.  We go once a week for physical therapy and once a week for "baby class."  Baby class consists of 30 minutes of music therapy (and swim therapy once a month) and an hour of class time together with other moms of babies with special needs during which we get speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy.  Our class is all babies with Down's syndrome, but there are other classes that have babies with different diagnoses and needs.

Let me tell you something.  Even if I didn't have a baby with Down's syndrome, that room would be my happy place.  Those babies just wooed me instantly with their excited clapping and raspberry blowing.  Heaven will be full of babies with Down's syndrome, I tell you.

Our class has five babies in it - 3 of which are right around Faith's age and 2 are a few months older.  It's really nice to have babies a bit older so Faith can learn from the older babies and so I can be encouraged that sitting, clapping and babbling is just around the corner for her.  Faith is already learning things in her class.  I had hoped she would be learning things like sitting and crawling and finger feeding.  But instead, she has taken it upon herself to master the raspberry blowing that her little friends were expertly demonstrating.

It pretty much cracks me up.  I'm sure at some point it will get annoying, but right now I find it hilarious.  She employs her new trick in any number of situations - when she's bored, happy, mad, protesting something, or tired.  Just now, I rocked her to sleep and as I was putting her in bed she let out a little sleepy raspberry and I had to run out of the room before I woke her up with my giggles.

Also Faith's hair is getting out of control.  It's reminiscent of Lila's guinea pig hair.  It's especially poofy after a bath, but it sort of poofs off to her right side.  This picture shows it in all it's glory.

And while we're at it, I might as well show you the blooper reel of this photo shoot:

Turns out my hair isn't all that under control itself.  That's what happens when you don't shower, I guess.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should shower.

Anyway... Faith.  Faith is continuing to eat better and better.  She is doing great with her solids and is taking bigger bottles at a time which I consider a true miracle.  She is becoming more of a baby and less of an infant every day.  It's so wonderful to see her making progress.  We have a weight check appointment on Wednesday and I am hoping that we will finally have some numbers on the scale to prove her progress.

We can no longer swaddle Faith for sleep.  The last few mornings I have found her rotated 180 degrees in her crib and for nap today she managed to catapult herself onto her tummy and I nearly had a heart attack when I found her face down in the mattress.  I prayed that all-too-familiar prayer of "Thank you for filling in the gaps" as I scooped her up and tried to push the emotions of what could have happened out of my head.  No more swaddle for that baby!

One last thing.  One of college roommates sent Faith a soft bunny which I've decided will be her "Lambie."  She already gave it her stamp slobber of approval:

Love me some Faith baby!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A few (okay, a lot to several) things

- Faith is a fan of carrots and sweet potatoes.  She has mixed feelings about pears.

- Lila got a new bike.  A friend gave us a bike, but it needed new tires so we took it to the bike store and found out that getting new tires would cost us nearly as much as buying a new bike from Target.  One thing led to another and we came home with this little gem.

Lila was a little hesitant at first.  She pulled a Phoebe the first day or so and only wanted to walk the bike around, but now that she found the courage to actually ride it she lives and breathes and dreams that bike.  We added the horn and bell.  The horn broke already.  I'm not sad about that.

- Can I tell you how enthused I am that the bike does not have princesses on it?  Never mind the fact that it is girly as all get out.  There are no princesses on it.  None.  Well, except Lila just informed me that the girl on it is a princess, soooooo.  There are no Disney princesses on it.  Which is a step in the right direction if you ask me.  I'm over princesses.  We needed a break because sometimes I'd try to talk to Lila and she wouldn't respond unless I called her Rapunzel.  That is the official sign that a little girl has watched too many princess movies.

- Her helmet, however, does have Disney princesses on it.  But I was willing to compromise on that one since the princesses make her actually want to wear it.  In fact, she wears it even when she's not riding her bike.  The other day she wore it in the car on the way to Target.  I think people driving by thought I was a neurotic over-protective mom.  She was quite the sight to see.

- Faith thinks I'm hilarious.  She's probably right.

- It's really hard to get a good picture of both girls together.  What with Faith's wiggly-ness and Lila's glasses glaring.

- Lila requires multiple outfit changes each day.  Some are due to her ever-changing whims, but most are due to her complete lack of care to avoid dirt, water, food, grass stains and the occasional unidentifiable substance (ew).  Somehow I managed to birth a child who is exactly 50% girly-girl and 50% tomboy.  She'll keep the boys guessing, that's for sure.

- Faith is on hour four of a nap today.  I should wake her up, but I am enjoying this moment of quiet (the older one is outside with Daddy).

- Sometimes when I'm trying to get the kids out of the house for a showing I will let Lila play on my phone so that I can clean up without her following me around undoing all my hard work.  The other day I turned on my phone to find this little creation:
Those dogs and cats look really guilty and my guess is they know they're gonna get it for getting paw prints all over the place.  My favorite part is the strawberry with the checkered flags sticking out the top.  And the random lemon.  And the earth thrown in for good measure.

- Today at lunch Lila was driving me nuts.  She kept poking me, putting her feet on me, leaning on me and just generally ignoring all normal rules of personal space observed by polite society (three-year-olds excluded, I guess).  I finally said, "Lila!  You have to leave me alone!  I'm trying to eat my lunch!"  And she said, "But, I love you and I just want your attention!"  I mean.  What else could I do but scoop her up and kiss her face and give her what she wanted?  I told her, "If you use your words and ask like that instead of annoying the crud poking and hitting and kicking Mommy, I will almost always give you attention because I love you, too!"

- Faith has started to squirm her way out of her swaddle.  I'll check the monitor and see her waving at me through the video monitor.  Actually, she's usually just watching her own hand float in front of her face with a bemused expression that says, "I'm gonna keep my eye on that thing.  It looks suspicious."

- One last thing.  Eat your heart out:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I'm sorry for this, but I'm going to have to post pictures of you on our blog.  I know you won't be happy, but it's only because you don't see yourself the way I do.  You are lovely and beautiful.  You have loving smiling eyes, lovely soft skin, a sincere and perfect smile.  I love your smile and your love of the color blue.  I love the way your voice sounds when you are reading to Lila - it's the way it sounded when you read to me.

I love that you let us come and spend the afternoon with you the other day and that you didn't even flinch when Faith had a projectile spit-up incident all over you.  I love that you keep a stash of chocolate chip cookies in your freezer for us.

I love that Lila gets to know you and the way you engage her in conversation.  I love watching her do the things I remember doing myself with such weepy nostalgia: reading the Dragon books, playing with play dough up on your breakfast bar, coloring, playing in the Animal Room, sitting on the hassock in front of the blue chair, sitting on Pop's lap in his recliner, hunting for Easter eggs in your backyard, examining the collection of angels behind the glass door of the shelf, listening and dancing to records.

I love that she is creating her own habits at your house: spreading the chocolates around the living room for her own "egg" hunt, watching out the big windows for birds and squirrels, playing with the Noah's Ark set, meticulously setting up the pegs in the peg board.

I love the way you make me feel like she is the most talented and superb child in all of creation.  You make me feel like a good mom.  I love that you have an experienced and researched and tried and perfected understanding of preschoolers and that you share your wisdom without pretense or judgement.

I love that when many people were expressing their concern or fears over our plans to adopt Faith, you would call me and say things like, "I'm so proud of you.  This is an eternal choice!  She will be so loved!"  I know that adopting a baby of a another race - let alone one with special needs - is not something that many people were doing in your generation so that it could have been hard for you to understand.  But I am so grateful for your prayerfulness for us.  I think it says so much about your relationship with the Lord that you are so aware of what He seems to be doing in my generation.  You have never allowed yourself to stay stuck in the familiar - you have always courageously allowed God to bring you along with His movements, even if it challenged and changed what you were comfortable with.

When Uncle Mark wanted to work at a Young Life Camp - before Young Life was a household name in the Christian community - you and Pop took your whole family to the family camp so you could see what it was all about.

When families from your church moved overseas, you put their picture on your refrigerator and prayed for them daily.

When I brought over packets of children who needed sponsors to show one of the cousins, you snuck away with them and I found that one was missing when I got home.  The next time I came over, a little Ethiopian boy's picture had joined the others on your fridge.

When we decided to adopt from Ethiopia, you listened carefully, asking questions, and then wrote us one of our first donation checks.

When we decided to adopt Faith, you sent me clippings of articles about resources for Down's syndrome and ambushed me with your prayers and support.

It might seem normal to you, but it isn't.  I want to be just like you.

My mother in law once told me that I reminded her of you and that is the single best compliment I have ever received.  Ever.

I love you, Grandma.  Thank you - for a lifetime of being your granddaughter.  I'm crying right now for love of you and gratitude that you are my grandma.  There is a reason that Jessica has your name for her middle name, that Jenny chose your mom's maiden name for Evie's middle name, that Faith has your mom's name for her middle name: it is because we are proud to be yours.

Now, look at these pictures and see yourself through my eyes:

My beautiful, kind, wise, loving, prayerful, generous, amazing Grandma.  I love you so much.  Please forgive me for putting pictures of you on the blog.  It needed to be done!