Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 years, 8 months and 14 days

 I spent two hours at the Social Security office today with both girls trying to figure out if we qualify for Faith to continue to receive Medicaid or Disability benefits (spoiler alert, consider it two hours wasted - we don't qualify).  I bribed Lila with ice cream if she held it together while we were there.  I thought I'd be there about an hour so I brought Lila's special princess sticker book (it's special because I only let her play with it when I really need to buy some time and keep her distracted - like on a car trip or at an appointment) and told her if she didn't whine about things taking a long time we could get ice cream afterwards.  

She did great for an hour and fifty minutes, but the last ten minutes were threatening to make me forget how awesome she had done for the first 110 minutes.  In the end I found myself carrying a limp three year old (she was "too tired of waiting to walk"), Faith's diaper bag, my purse, Lila's lunch box, Lila's sticker book and Faith in her carseat in the sweltering heat to my car.  When I plopped Lila into her carseat I accidentally brushed her leg against the hot car door which elicited a screech of pain and lots of tears.  The heat and the sweating and the overly-dramatic reaction to being slightly burned by a car door pushed me to the edge and I snipped at Lila who was too busy keeping in character of Injured Child to get herself buckled.  Let's just say I'm only willing to do so many things for her that she is perfectly capable of doing herself when I'm hungry and it's approximately 300 degrees outside (i.e., walking to the car, i.e., carrying her own lunch box, i.e. GETTING BUCKLED).  My snippiness was met with fresh tears and the proclamation, "You aren't being nice to me! You woke me uuuuuupppppppp!!!!!"  I sighed, wondering when she thought she had fallen asleep in the 45 seconds it took for me to buckle Faith in, and walked back around to her side of the car mumbling to myself, "She did awesome for an hour and 50 minutes.  Remember how awesome she did for an hour and 50 minutes."

I buckled her in, gave her a snack and that's when Faith decided it was too hot in the car and she wanted out.  Immediately.  I decided I was too sweaty and stressed to drive all the way home with a screaming baby so I stopped at my parents' to give us all a break in an air conditioned house before heading home to put Lila down for a nap.  No ice cream for us.

When Lila woke up she was all smiley and happy and actually let me take some pictures of her (which she hardly ever lets me do these days).  I took advantage of her willing mood and this is the result:

She was cracking herself up with some borderline potty talk which I let slide because it was making for good pictures.

I thought maybe I could make good on my ice cream promise after dinner tonight, but unfortunately, the evening unraveled much like the morning and we endured 35 minutes of an exhaustion-fueled tantrum complete with accusations that we weren't "obeying God" because I guess God would find it horrible that we were forcing her to wear a Monsters Inc Pull-up even though she was very clear that "Monsters is NOT MY FAVORITE MOVIE!!!"  That assertion bled into a chorus of "YOU HURT MY FLEELINGS!" with a "YOU'RE BEING MEAN TO ME!" thrown in here or there for good measure.  In times like these I waffle between being amused and annoyed.  And, sure, mad as hell sometimes, too.  Especially when she intentionally dumped a cup of water on my carpet as phase three of her protest.

After calming down (the both of us), wiping her face free of the snot and slobber that had accumulated, and issuing the apologies necessary (from me, the grown-up, who really should have more self-control and not yell at my kid when she's clearly hysterical, exhausted and irrational), she forgave me and we snuggled in bed.  She asked me to "talk to Jesus" so I thanked Jesus for her and asked him to help me not lose my temper.  I let her hear me ask Jesus to forgive me for yelling at her, too and I'm pretty sure she nodded in agreement.

She was asleep in two winks after all the hullabaloo and I slid out of her bed and stumbled back into my room.  I opened my computer only to be greeted by the photos I'd uploaded from our post-nap photo shoot.  I spent the next two hours playing around with the design above and sure enough my perception quickly changed as I let the images replace my frustration with affection for my big little girl.  Three years, 8 months and 14 days of being her Mommy and I'm still just as clueless and in love as I was on December 16, 2009 when she was placed in my arms.  Come to think of it, she was screaming then, too.  

I hope when she is grown, it's the memories of silly photo shoots that remain and not Mommy yelling at her.  But if my raised voice does echo in her memories, I hope she also remembers that I admitted I was wrong and asked for forgiveness.  A friend told me once that our mistakes as Mommies are an opportunity for us to show our kids what it looks like to be forgiven.  I'm thankful for that tonight.  And that tomorrow I get to start three years, 8 months and 15 days of being her Mommy.  It's the best job a girl could ask for.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the Blue Thing

Remember when I told you about how I grind my teeth?  Remember how I told you my dentist recommended I wear a mouth guard so I don't crack all my teeth? (I've already had to get multiple teeth repaired from grinding damage.  Not so fun.)  Remember how I told you I'd tell you a story about Lila imitating me wearing my nighttime mouth guard?  Well, this is the story.

So, when I first started wearing a dental guard at night, I bought the cheapest one I could find. It was HUGE.  And blue.  It looked more like a sports mouth guard.  Lila called it my "blue thing" except she pronounced it "schthling" and would ask me in the morning, "Where's your blue schthling?"  We had many discussion about my "blue thing."  She was curious and captivated by my "blue thing."  This was also the stage when she was still in her crib and not potty-trained and she was waking up really early with a wet diaper.  I would often come in her room and say "It's not time to get up yet," and attempt to change her diaper quickly and quietly and then put her back to sleep.  (This was only marginally successful, but the hope for a few extra minutes of sleep kept me in the game.)

So, one day she was playing quietly by herself and I was in the kitchen.  I heard her shuffle out from the play room and say, sort of muffled, "It's not time to get up yet."  I turned around and saw that she had one of those little plastic chain links that babies play with (Faith LOVES those rings for some reason) in her mouth.  A blue one.  And I realized that she wasn't talking to me, she was play-acting.  She was pretending to be me in the morning when I would stumble into her room wearing my "blue schthling" and tell her it wasn't time to get up yet.  I was immediately humiliated and amused.  I laughed out loud at this little glimpse into my 2-year-old's view of her mama.  Undignified, clumsy, mouth full of "blue thing."  There's no perky mom waiting to greet her when she wakes.  There's just me.  Undignified, clumsy, mouth full of "blue thing."  But the best part is, she wanted to be like me.  Blue thing and all.

And now because I love you and I have no self-respect.  Here's a picture of me with one of those baby rings in my mouth to give you an idea of what I'm describing:
I would show you a picture of the Blue Thing, but I have since bought a much sleeker, smaller, less noticeable version.  Because I can only handle so much mocking from my toddler.

In other news, we're in our inaugural week of back-to-school/therapy and our new schedule.  Last night I kept having to remind myself that it was only Monday.  It might be a bit before we all adjust to the new routine.  We may not survive.  I mean, probably we will.  But maybe not.

Also, Faith turns ONE in a month!!! Eeeeeeek!  I am making some plans for her birthday party.  Her birthday not only marks the end of her first year, but also 6 months with us.  Which means she will have been home with us for the same amount of time she was with her birth family.  I have conflicting emotions about that.  I'm so excited for that magic switch to flip, but I'm also grieving for her birth mom.  In my mind, the longer she's with us the more I feel like her mom.  I wonder if her First Mama feels the same way?  I know it's inevitable and I know it's what we all knew would happen and chose for her life, but it's still a significant and sad moment.  I'm sure I'll be processing that a bit more in the next few weeks as well as planning a sunny little first birthday party!  You all know how much I looooove birthdays!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bedtime Conversations: Lila 3 years, 8 months

Lila: Mommy, I'm scared when I'm by myself.
Me: You are never by yourself.  Who is always with you?
Lila: No, I mean when you aren't with me.
Me: Even when I'm not with you, who is always with you?
Lila: Jesus.
Me: That's right.  You're never by yourself because Jesus is always with you.
Lila: But I can't see him and I want to see him.
Me: Well, you can talk to him.  What do you want to say to Jesus?
Lila: Please come so I can see you, Jesus.
Me: What do you think Jesus would say?
Lila: "Okay, I will come."
Me: Do you think he would say, "Even when you can't see me, I am with you"?  Do you think he'd say, "You don't need to be afraid"?  Do you think he'd say, "I love you, You Are Mine"?
Lila: Yeah.
Me: You can talk to Jesus and listen for him to talk back to you.  And he will.  Sometimes you have to wait a little bit, but he always tells you what he wants you to know.
Lila: Mommy?
Me: Yeah?
Lila: I wish I could take my tongue out so that I can see what's on the back of it.
Me: stunned silence then laughter Lila, I love you.
Lila: Why?
Me: Because you're awesome.  Goodnight.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

T-shirt SALE!

Well, we are officially sold out of our Africa tees.  We had one lingering teeny-tiny small that we recently sold and that was the last of them.  I get emails every once in awhile asking if we plan on printing more and honestly, I'd consider it if we didn't still have a ton of the other designs sitting in tubs in our garage my parents' basement.

We were given the tees by some friends who used to own half of a t-shirt company so we had limited inventory to begin with.  The guy who is now the principal owner of the company has offered to sell me the printing rights to the design if I wanted to print more, but again we still have all of the other tees.  Sitting.  In tubs.

And then I had an idea.  A major SALE for the tees we have left in an attempt to 1) get rid of them and 2) make enough to potentially pay for another order of Africa tees! Hooray!

So, here's the deal.  These shirts are really great quality.  They are printed on super soft American Apparel tees which will run you around $20 retail.  We've been selling them $15 each or 2 for $20.  I am cutting the price in half and you can now get one t-shirt for $7 or two for $10.  Three or more $4 each!  What a deal!*

But wait!  There's more!  (Insert cheesy infomercial smile here)

If you buy three or more tees I will also add your name to a puzzle piece for our long-neglected puzzle fundraiser!

Because the tees were donated to us, we get 100% of the sales which will go directly into our adoption fund/to buy more Africa tees if we seem to have enough interest.
I might be doped up on Mucinex right now which is why this graphic is a little dopey.

We are now number 46 (I think) on the Ethiopia wait list and I realized that we may get a referral for our Ethiopia baby within the year (!) which made me realize we need to kick back into fundraising gear!  We have quite a bit to raise for that adoption, but after Faith's adoption I have no doubt it will come!  It's odd to be thinking about that adoption again/already when Faith hasn't even been home 6 months, but we have been working on updated our dossier documents that expire soon so it's been on our mind more than usual.  We are hitting that stage in the game where our baby might actually be in utero!  Our agency won't refer us a child until Faith has been home a year (thank goodness!) so we have at least that long to wait.  What I tried to believe before Faith came into our lives and know for a fact now (but still easily forget) is that God's timing is always perfect.  Just like everyone says it is.  Even if it did make me want to punch them in the face when they said that.

So, anyway, buy a t-shirt!  Or two!  Or three!  Or FOUR!

As a reminder, the shirts run small so you probably want a size up from what you would normally wear.  My tween nieces love the women's smalls (I have given them their choice of tee for the last few birthdays and Christmases and they wear them until the wear thin!) so that should give you an idea of the starting point for sizes.

Email me with questions!  For sizes and additional info, click the picture of the t-shirt on the right sidebar.  To order, click the "Donate" button underneath that picture.

Make Way!

*Please note, a $3 shipping charge will be added to all orders that need to be mailed.  If you are in Kansas City we can arrange a pick-up or drop off of your t-shirt order.

Just in case you were dying to hear Faith's voice...

She gets really talkative around lunch time.  For a girl who doesn't like her bottle, she's pretty passionate about eating.  If the Husband starts preparing her food in front of her and has to get up to get something she panics and yells at him as if to say, "Get back here!  You have an important task you are neglecting! I'm HUNGRYYYYYYY!"

Whenever people say she's getting chubby I say, "Thank you!  We work hard for those rolls!"  It's true.  I have a new sympathy for my friends who have food battles with their kids.  It's frustrating when you can't get your kids to do something that will nourish and restore them (if you've read any of my posts about Lila's nap battles you'll know I speak from experience!)  I am so grateful that Faith loves to eat from a spoon.  We're still working on drinking.  She has a few fancy therapy cups that we try often but she just likes to play with them and let the water spill idly out of her mouth.  Meal times require outfit changes on a regular basis, but we'll get there.

"If you're not gonna feed me I'm going to eat the strap to this high chair."
Oh man, that's one cute baby.

In other news, Lila has discovered vibrato and it's awesome.  Video to come...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

End of the summer recap (yet another post with bullet points)

First of all, Faith says HI:

Okay.  Now that we've taken care of that we can move forward.

I say this every summer, but this summer flew by!  I think it didn't help that the entire month of June was a blur of showings and cleaning the house and stressing about showings and cleaning the house.  I'm so glad we took the house of the market and that I didn't spend our entire summer stressing about showings and cleaning the house.  We've packed more in the last few weeks than we did all summer!  Here's what we've been doing the last few weeks:

- Lila took swim lessons from one of my co-teachers, Mrs. Kirby.  Mrs. Kirby is awesome - she's fun and disarming and moves at a fast pace so that the kids don't have time to think about being scared.  Lila learned so much and I think she'll really take off next summer.  The only slightly traumatic moment was when she got "water in my breath" and then refused to get back in the pool.  Good thing the lesson was mostly over! She talked about getting water in her breath the rest of the day.  It must have scared her enough to leave a lasting impression.

- We have Faith's next appointment to figure out her hearing problems scheduled for October 15th - the earliest they could get us in! (groan)  Interestingly enough, she started babbling more the weekend after the first appointment so I'm at least encouraged that she's making some progress.  The audiologist at the last appointment did mention something about the possibility that she may not be big enough/old enough to get tubes in her ears yet anyway, but it still irks me that we have to wait to figure out the problem when waiting just means two more months of her not hearing well and that contributing to other delays.  I'm trying to chill out about it and not fixate on the wait.  I am grateful we even have a children's hospital close by and one that has a Down syndrome clinic at that!  The audiologist referred us to a specific ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doc) that, I assume, works with a lot of kids with DS.

- Faith's favorite thing to do when I'm trying to feed her is put her toes in her mouth.  It's really unhelpful because 1) I can't get the spoon in her mouth and 2) if she puts her toes in there after I've given her a bite, then they get caked in her food and the food ends up spread across the walls, me and the end of her high chair.  Exhibit A:

- If you follow my sister on Instagram, you've already read this exchange between Lila and me that I texted to my family.  The other day I was walking toward Faith's room and Lila must have thought I was going in her room because she yelled, "Don't go in my room!"

Me: Why?
Lila: Becaaaaaaaaause...I want you to go in Faith's room!
Me: Well now I'm going to go in your room.
Lila: But!
Me: Why don't you want me to go in here?
Lila: I put cereal on my night light.

Why?  Why did she put cereal on her night light?  Why did she think she was going to be in trouble for it?  Why did she think I would even notice the cereal?  These are the questions we will never have an answer to.  The mind of a 3.5 year old befuddles.

- We've been trying to enjoy the awesome weather we've been having and the last few days of summer (I start teacher meetings tomorrow. Boo!) so we went to the Plaza this weekend to walk around (and to check out the on sale hardware at Anthropologie for a dresser we're re-doing for Lila's dress-up clothes!).  We stopped by the JC Nichols fountain and the Husband and Lila dipped their feet in while I sat grossed out by the amount of goose poop that covered every inch of concrete. 

- I woke up Sunday morning and found this little set-up that the Husband and Lila had created.
We came home from the Plaza and I saw that we'd left the Lambies set up and they were waiting to greet us:

One of my favorite things about having a three-year-old is finding little scenes set up around the house. I'm constantly finding princesses tucked behind pillows, babies tucked into bed under the table, animals hiding behind curtains and Lambie in any number of situations and locations.  I love the glimpse into her mind and creativity.  It's the best.

- Today, as a final hurrah before the school year kicks in tomorrow, we invited a few of Lila's friends to join us at Deanna Rose Farmstead for the morning.  I love our city.  Our house in particular is perfectly located and we can get into Downtown Kansas City and out to the farmland of Olathe and Gardner within 15-20 minutes.  I'm sure every city has little gems that are free and well-run and kid-friendly and the farmstead is one of those awesome things in our city.  It's free Monday-Thursday and has a ton of farm animals to pet and feed (chickens, bunnies, pigs, ponies, cows, horses, goats, geese, ducks, other birds, etc) plus awesome playgrounds and fun activities.  The farmstead has been there since I was a little girl and it was cool then (they used to have a peacock and my sister and I would stand at the cage for forever waiting for it to drop a feather...never once did it happen, but we were committed and vigilant nonetheless), but they have done a ton of renovations and expansions and it's awesome now!

Lila's buddies Ruby, Iris and Mira joined us (along with little siblings) and they had a blast (except for the time when Lila had a meltdown due to hunger and thirst and heat and yet refused to eat or drink that wasn't so awesome).
"milking" the buckets in the cow barn

feeding the baby goats (Mira had a particularly aggressive goat following her around and she kept saying, "Not you, Big One!" and trying to give her bottle to the littler goats)

working hard in the school house

I wish I could remember what Mira said she drew.  It was hilarious.

And then this one got jealous that I was taking a picture of Mira's work and decided she wanted to pose, too.
I pushed Faith to the limit and she cried the whole way home.  I felt so bad.  It's hard to get her that upset.  Good news is she perked right up with a bottle and when I put her in bed for her nap she just rolled over and fell asleep.

Lila was pooped, too and we all took naps this afternoon.  Lila woke up and immediately asked me, "Mommy, is Lambie still wet?"  I didn't know what she was talking about and she proceeded to explain that Lambie had fallen into the pond and I had to get her out because it was a "grown-up pond" and little girls couldn't go in.  I asked her if she'd had a dream about that and she was adamant it had actually happened.  She kept telling me another detail and then saying, "Do you remember now, Mommy?"  She got really mad at me when I refused to admit it had actually happened.  Evidently, it was snowing and Lila was walking backwards and not paying attention and Lambie "splashed" in the pond.  Mrs. Kirby was there and held Faith for me while I went into the pond to retrieve Lambie.

"Do you remember now, Mommy?"
"Nope.  I think that was a dream, honey."

There was no convincing her so I finally changed the subject and offered her a snack.  

I'm off to bed.  I caught Faith's cold (it seems like we're sick every other week around here and it's not even winter!) so I'm tuckered out and have to be up early-ish tomorrow.  Picture me with a tissue stuck up my nose, moaning pathetically while the Husband cleans the kitchen for me.  He's the best.

Um, look what I just noticed!
Almost 100,000 page views! That is crazy to me!  Who's gonna be my 100,000th page view??

Okay, for real.  Going to bed.  Goodnight.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

more bullet points

Sorry it's been radio silent over here.  I've been...well I don't know where I've been or what I've been doing.  The last two weeks are gone and I just don't know what I did with them.  But I'm back.  Only to probably disappear again soon because The Week that May Send Me to the Loony Bin is coming up (aka: the week Faith's therapy, Lila's preschool, and my job start up again all at the same time!) and we all know that when I feel stressed and overwhelmed and over-committed I tend to become a hermit and stop talking to people altogether.  Even you virtual people.  I mean, you're real, but I talk to you virtually.  Through this virtual blog.  Virtual.  That word is starting to sound like jibberish.

Back to what I was saying: I'm back with an update of sorts.  And since my brain is incapable of composing a post with any sort of narrative these days, I've got some bullet points for you.  Again.

So here's a recap of the last few weeks:

- Faith is now sitting up for a good length of time!  I mean, not reliably.  I can't really leave her unattended.  But still! Sitting up!  Being cute! And then toppling over out of nowhere and face-smashing into the carpet (if she's lucky) or the hardwoods (if she's not).  But still!  Sitting up!  My big girl!

So proud!

- She also is scooting/rolling/pivoting like a champ.  I put her down in one place and leave them room and come back and she's in a whole other place!  Luckily for me, it still takes her quite awhile to move around, so she doesn't get herself in harm's way for the most part.  Although one day she did manage to scoot herself backwards and ended up stuck under the bed.  From whence I immediately rescued her without taking any pictures mocking her predicament...

until she cried and I felt guilty and saved her.

- My favorite thing Lila says right now is "I have a tummy-hank." (tummy ache)  I just love it.  I love it.  Oh it is the cutest thing and I don't ever want her to figure out the right way to say it.  I also love how she has some new phrases like, "Absolutely!" and "Oh-my-goodness-me-oh-my!"  I have no idea where she got that last one.  I can only assume it's from a show she's seen.  She picks up the most random lines from things like Curious George and Daniel Tiger.  Out of nowhere she told us, "I love you more than ice cream!" and we thought she was so clever and sweet.  Until we realized it's a line from Bedtime for Francis.  Sheesh.  Come up with something original, Lila.  Tummy hank.  Oh-my-goodness-me-oh-my!

- Okay, what else?  Oh!  This happened:
I texted this to the Husband saying "Bahahahahaha!" and he responded "Bless you."  I think he was having a hard day at work.

And then a few days later a cattle truck overturned on I-70! They had to call in actual cowboys to lasso up a cow that was making a break for it.  Do we live in Kansas or what?
- We had the privilege of attending the finalization hearing of our friends' littlest girl, Baby Maia.  She's the cutest little sweet pea.  Lila looked at her and said, "Oooooooooh!  She's so little!"  I think in her mind all babies join families at 6 months old and via adoption.  She tells me often that she is going to 'dopt her baby dolls.  "This is my baby.  I'm 'dopting her."  Anyway, they adopted Miss Maia through the same agency we used for Faith's adoption so the finalization was with the same attorney, same adoption consultant and in the same courtroom with the same judge as Faith's finalization hearing.  Yeah, I cried.  So what?  You would cry too if it happened to you.  (Are you singing "It's My Party" in your head now?  Me too.) It was an honor to be sitting in the seats behind Stan and Dana as they testified to the court their intent to call Maia their daughter.  When the judge asked if they understood that the adoption was final and irrevocable Stan responded, "Thank goodness!"  Well put, Stan and Amen to that!

- Speaking of our little adoptee... last week we had two really hard days with Faith.  It is rare that she is fussy and needy.  She's usually pretty content and passive.  But she was so fussy that by Friday I was about ready to pull my hair out and texted the Husband at 3:16: "Today would be a really good day for you to come home early" to rescue me or perhaps the children - I'm not sure who was in more dire straits.  He said he would do his best.  At 4:36 he texted me again that he was coming home, to which I responded "Thank goodness" and attached this picture:
Which, unfortunately was an accurate depiction of what the afternoon had been like.  By the time he got home, he found Faith in the middle of the living room floor where I had plopped her in exasperation while I went to lock myself in the bathroom and count down from twenty.  I don't know what her deal was, but she's got a runny nose now so I wonder if she just wasn't feeling well.  I can't say I handled it awesomely, but both my children are still alive and I still have my hair so I think I did pretty well considering.

On a related note, my dentist told me I should consider wearing a grinding guard during the day (in addition to the one I wear at night) because apparently I grind my teeth when I'm stressed and apparently I'm stressed enough to have ground my brand new filling smooth and flat in just 6 months.  Ha.  Do they really think I'm going to wear a mouth guard as I go about my day hollering at Lila to clean up her many projects she's begun around the house?  Do you think she'd take me seriously if I asked for her attention with a big blue guard in my mouth?  Which reminds me, have I ever told you the story of Lila imitating me wearing my night grinding guard?  I haven't?  Well it's probably because the story might not translate well over this format because 1) you can't get a good visual and 2) you really need to hear my imitation of her imitation for full comedic effect.  It's a story of one of those shining parenting moments when you get a glimpse into how your children view you and you groan internally at just how undignified your life really is.  (I highly doubt Kate Middleton kisses William goodnight wearing a bright blue mouth guard, but that, my friends is the Husband's nightly privilege.)   I'll save the story for another post.

Anyway, back to my list of updates...
- Lila starts preschool in a few weeks which I am both so excited about and dreading.  I'm dreading it because I'll miss her.  She's going Tuesdays and Thursdays and we have my school on Wednesdays so I won't see her three days in a row.  But I'm excited because I know she'll love it and it will give me some days with just Faith which I look forward to.  I'm doing my best to schedule doctor's appointments and therapy appointments for the days Lila is in school so we can just play and rest on Mondays and Fridays.

- I bought Lila a backpack for preschool.  After much research (I'm incapable of making a decision without doing an obsessive amount of research.  It's bordering on a sickness.) and some creative excuses for why she couldn't get a princess or Hello Kitty backpack, I settled on Lands' End's "My First Backpack."  It came in the mail the other day and she immediately stuffed it to the brim with the essentials:
She caught me taking this picture and I got a thorough scolding and reprimand, "You can't take a picture of MY backpack!"
- We went to Manhattan this weekend - just Lila, my mom and me - for two little girls' birthday parties. They conveniently scheduled them the same day back-to-back so it worked out great for us to go for the day.  My best friend's daughter, Lucy turned 6 and had a fancy tea party.  Lila LOVED it and I think it meant a lot to Lucy that we came because when Genny asked her what her favorite part of her party was, she said, "Lila."  I relayed that to Lila and she beamed.  I love seeing these friendships blossom between my kids and my friends' kids.  It's one of those things you hope for, but isn't guaranteed.  Lucy's a few years older than Lila, but they get along well and Lila thinks Lucy is just the coolest.

- After Lucy's party, we went to Evangeline's first birthday.  Evie is my cousin's little girl and we were so excited that it worked out for us to be there for her party.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the festivities because I was too busy refereeing the wrestling match between Lila and the other kids over the toys, pulling Lila away from the presents, and catching her sneaking multiple Jello jigglers when she was supposed to be eating her lunch.  I caught her red-handed (literally - the jigglers were red and she had the coloring on her fingertips!) and when she realize she was caught she shoved the entire thing in her mouth and looked at me wide-eyed and guilty.  I just sighed and gave up the fight.

- We had Faith's hearing evaluation at the children's hospital today and it was both disappointing and encouraging.  We had received a letter in the mail saying to plan for up to two hours for our appointment, so I packed up food and bottles and diapers expecting to be there awhile.  I was hopeful that the length of the appointment meant that we would be doing some extensive tests and that we would leave with answers as to the severity of her hearing loss, what is causing it and what we can do about it.  The appointment ended up only being about 30 minutes long, and unfortunately we left with another referral and few answers.  We were referred to an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor to get a more thorough evaluation.  That's kinda what I was hoping wouldn't happen, but oh well.

It definitely wasn't a waste of time.  The hospital had this really cool sound proof room with speakers on opposite walls and a windowed wall in between them.  The audiologist went into the room on the other side of the window and spoke through the speakers at different volumes to see if Faith would turn toward the sound of her voice.

I was surprised and pleased by how much she did respond to, but there were definitely some sounds and volumes she didn't seem to register.  In the end, the audiologist told us that she will likely need tubes in her ears, but that the ENT would give us a better idea of what that will look like and what the timeline might be.

- After Faith's appointment, we picked Lila up from my mom's where we found her "washing" dishes.
It's amazing what kids think is fun just because it's a grown up activity.  It's also amazing to see what grandparents come up with and allow that I would never consider doing at our house.  I think if Lila asked me if she could wash dishes, all I would think about would be the mess.  But now that I've witnessed how much she liked the soap and the pouring and the scrubbing, a little water spillage seems harmless.  We may have to try it at our house.  Assuming the Husband gets our sink put back together.  We are He is knee deep in a sink switcheroo that has become a bigger task than he thought it would be.  I'm just trying to stay out of the way and avoid putting my unhelpful two-cents into the situation.  (7+ years of marriage and I've learned to let him problem solve in his own way and not try to micro manage something I know very little about even if he does things totally different than I would.)  I'm grateful for a handy husband!

- And finally, Faith and I had a little photo shoot the other day.  Sister.  You are the cutest.

That's some serious cuteness, folks.  I love that girl more every day.  I'm so glad I get to be her Mommy.

Okay, I must go to bed.  We have our last swimming lesson of the summer tomorrow.  I'll have to remember to take a picture for the next post-o-bullet-points.  

Goodnight.  Over and out.