Monday, July 30, 2012

Latest Favorite Pins

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies; Eric said they were yummy, but I think my Maw-Maw's recipe is better.

Chess bars; Butter, eggs, and sugar. What could be better???

Made one of these for my classroom. Mine is orange and light blue and not as crazy wild as this.


JD has played baseball on a team since he was four (maybe even 3 1/2). We've been on a travel team since he was 6 or 7. We love our team, but we play a bunch of games (almost 60 this season alone). Our team is more than just a team, it's a family. We get to experience life with these folks. They know some of our deepest secrets, they are part of our happiest memories, and some of our saddest personal times. I don't know what I would do if we didn't have these families in our lives. Here are some of his latest (i.e. coolest) shots from this seasons.


Our kids celebrate birthdays within weeks of one another. Louba's is at the end of May, Jules is just a couple weeks later in mid June, and JD has a birthday at the beginning of July. (Emma, my niece's birthday is just a week before Julianne's). We didn't have parties this year because we have been spending so much time at the ballpark with JD's travel team. We had some small family gatherings and the kids got to choose where they wanted to eat. For Louba, she wanted pizza and slip and slide; Jules wanted Mexican; JD wanted Buffalo Wild Wings. And, of course, I made cakes that they picked out. Louba wanted a barbie cake with a pink dress, Jules had a beach themed cake with candy shells, and JD wanted homemade oatmeal cream pies. We didn't go overboard with gifts either. The each received a new bike from us, and a few small things or money from everyone else. All-in-all, I think they still had a good birthday.

First Days of School

Today, Louba went back to school (a couple weeks before the other two go). I have to go back to work a couple days this week, and the big kids are spending those two days with Mom and Dad. These past few weeks have been so busy (more on that later).

Here's our annual first day of school picture of Lou (I'll post the others here in a couple weeks when they start). Louba will be in the pre-K class at her daycare, Jules will be a 2nd grader, and JD will be in the 4th. It's hard to believe I have one that's only two years away from middle school.

Louba loved school today. She was a little apprehensive about going into a new classroom, but went in and did great. Her teacher is the same one JD and Jules both had when they went to the pre-school she's at. She'll have to sign her name in every morning from now on. She told me she learned stuff but didn't know what she learned. She did say she got to play outside which is HUGE for her. (Hopefully, one day we'll have those bangs grown out and loose the 80s ponytail hair-do.) 

Monday, July 16, 2012


When we decided to adopt a "waiting child" we knew there could be problems. When we found Louba and knew her know diagnosis was achondroplasia, we expected some doctors visits. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams with her health. We knew achondroplasia could lead to spinal compression issues, bowed legs, spinal kyphosis (which is a spinal curve), among other things. I'm one of those who really trust my doctors. I can research all day long, but they have spent years in medical school. My thought is, I don't like non-teachers telling me how to teach, I shouldn't tell doctors how to treat. Yes, I do ask questions and voice my concerns, but ultimately, I trust my doctors.

We have been to a geneticist (Dr. John Phillips) at Vanderbilt who said she's perfect. He still wants to see her in six months (or October now) to discuss the BioMarin study in more depth. We're still not sure what our role will be in the study, but know we want to be part of it to help other children born with achondroplasia overcome some of the medical issue associated with this genetic disorder. He took spinal and hand x-rays and said everything looked exactly how it was supposed too.  He did some neurological assessments and said she did everything the way she needed too.

We've recently seen an ENT and today her orthopedic doctors.  The ENT (Dr. Wanna) said her hearing was perfect too (she has slight loss at extremely high frequency). He also doesn't need to see her again, but recommend her hearing be tested by our pediatrician in a year.

Today's visit was to the orthopedic doctor at Vanderbilt (Dr. Green). I LOVE HIM!!! He made the kids feel so at easy and joked around with them the whole time we were there. He showed me the x-rays from our April visit and said, "She's perfect! I don't think I'll be seeing her again." Her spine has NO curve, her legs are not bowed (for an achon), her back is the exact shape it should be for achon.

So, we've paid money for doctors to tell us what we already knew, she's PERFECT!!! Our God is so good! We head to the dentist, eye doctor, and regular pediatrician in the next couple of weeks before school starts back.  Our girl is a smart one too. I'm glad we stepped out of our comfort zone and brought this one into our lives. I can't imagine living this life without this fireball.

If you are considering adoption, consider a waiting child. Talk to adoptive parents who have adopted from waiting child lists (the Browns, the Hoods, the Overstreet, anyone on Reece's Rainbow website--these are just a few of the families we know who have adopted from the waiting child lists from various countries). Special needs doesn't always mean lifetimes in hospitals or doctor's offices. SN kids are just kids who need families to love and nurture them to their fullest potential.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Missed Firsts

When we decided to adopt Louba, I knew I was going to be missing several of her milestones: her first words, her first steps, the first smile, laugh, cry. But, we went into adoption not looking for a baby. We wanted a toddler. I've thought about those firsts many times over the past few months that she's been home. I don't know what she was like the day she was born. I don't know how she felt when she heard her Russia mommy's voice for the first time out of the womb. I realized I've missed three and half years of first with her. I thought about it again today when we drove by the hospital John David was born in. I don't know what her hospital looks like.

What I do know, is I get to experience years of firsts with her. I got to see her first steps on American soil. I got to hear her first English words. I got to see her go to her first day of preschool, her first night with her forever family. I get to experience with her her first crush, her first kiss, her first broken heart, her first A on a test she studies all night for, and many, many more firsts that her Russia mommy doesn't get to see.

Am I sad that I'm not part of those firsts firsts? A little. But I'm so excited about what the next years hold for her and our family.

Her first 4th of July!!