slide show

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Saturday night fun

I don't think much narration is needed ... the kids had so much fun!  They love using the hot tub like a pool and the slip 'n slide is always a big hit.  Sunshine is such a water baby!  This was the first time she really used the slip 'n slide and man, she loved it!  She absolutely did NOT want to go in for bed.  LOL.  Who can blame her?!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

She loves him

Sunshine has been pretty hot and cold since her palate repair with everyone except me.  But yesterday, after she warmed up to him, she was happy to play with Granddad for a bit.  It was a-dor-a-ble. A rare moment in the most recent past for sure, but one that I was excited to grab my camera for :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

His bountiful beauty

I have been neglecting the veggie garden this year :-(

I finally went out there today before it got super-hot to pull out the zucchini plant that got sick and died ... along with the butternut squash that it took along with it.  We have decided that although we love zucchini, we're not planting it anymore ... it always does well for the first month or so and then gets sick and becomes a pest to the rest of the garden,  I was looking forward to those butternuts too, at least I was able to salvage one unripened!  Anywho, in the process, I found that there were many other vegetables (or fruits, whatever!) ready for harvesting.

We have loads of sweet onions - this isn't even all of them!

Here's the one lonely butternut ... with a caterpillar on it that the kids enjoyed playing with ... before Sunshine squooshed it under her foot.  LOL.

And a few of our tomatoes, there were lots more that are finally ripe!  Woohoo!

It's so fun to watch the garden grow ... it still baffles me that all this stuff can come from itty bitty teeny tiny seeds.  Amazing what God can do with so little!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2 Weeks Post-Op (Graphic!)

Ok friends, if you don't want to see a picture of a repaired palate two weeks after surgery, you should probably close out the post after you read.  There are 2 regular pictures and then 2 palate pictures.  It's not bloody or gross, but it is a true picture of what Sunshine's palate looks like as it's healing, and it may make some people queasy.  She was willing to let me take the picture, and I thought it would be a great way to show other cleft parents what to expect.

She really is healing up beautifully and we are finally no-no free, woohoo!  I have to confess that I am thrilled we are saying bye-bye to no-no's ... it has not been a relationship we've enjoyed.  I am looking forward to getting back into normal sleep habits and not waking up all. night. long. with our precious girl who simply cannot get comfortable.  Sunshine is slowly returning to normal, Praise God.  She still has her angry moments, but for the most part, our spunky, happy girl is back.

We are still on a special soft foods diet for another two weeks (post on that to come in the future) and it's been rough.  In the beginning she refused to eat mostly everything, but she's come around to some new foods.  I syringe-fed her Creamy Tomato Soup the other day and she kept begging for more (just way too messy with a spoon, I tried)!  I also tricked, I mean convinced her to eat scrambled eggs loaded with butter and cheese by dipping the bites in Ranch dressing.  Go figure.  LOL.  What a mama won't do to get her baby to eat, I tell ya.

So we are slowly figuring out this whole palate repair recovery thing and I will be elated when it's over.  She asks for Goldfish and other crunchy foods regularly now and it kills me to say no!  I feel so bad!  We've been doing a good job of keeping all those foods hidden from her and only bring them out when she's napping or sleeping ... no sense in torturing her!

Anywho, here is her repaired palate if you'd like to see :-)  There are 2 versions - one normal and another with commentary so you know what you're looking at :-)  It really is stunning (not in a "pretty" way but in a "ohmygoodness look at that" way ... I wish I had taken "before" pictures!  The work that her surgeon has done is nothing shy of a miracle.  I know that he does this all the time, but seriously WOW!

(Come find me on Facebook!  And if you have been blessed by my blog, would you mind taking just a few seconds of your time and click on the 2 links below?  You don't need to do anything except click each button once (you can click once a day!).  Each click is a "vote" that allows my blog to be seen by other homeschool and adoptive families so I can help them too!  Thank you so much for blessing me with your help, may God bless your day!)

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Monday, July 23, 2012


I think in American society, we get so used to seeing numbers and statistics every. single. day. that we are completely immune to it.  I hesitate to share statistics often because I really wonder how much good they actually do ... I used to be one of those people that totally glazed over when seeing the overwhelming numbers.  But now that I have seen the face of adoption with my own eyes in my own family ... well I cannot turn off the statistics anymore.  They are staggering.

I have already shared these slides on my {orphan care} page, but here some interesting statistics about adoption.  Thanks to Adoption Journey for putting this together! (You can click on the images to see them bigger)

Friday, July 20, 2012

These two

I spied them like this on his bed while I was vacuuming (yes, I was actually cleaning, woohoo!).  They were so precious I just had to take a break and capture it.  I was lucky enough to run downstairs and grab my camera in time, before they decided to move onto the next thing.  Precious, precious, precious ... that's all I can say 'bout these two.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sensory Bin #4

SNOW!  Ok not real snow, but the kind that you buy in powder form and then "grow" with water.  What an interesting consistency this was!  The older kids loved it ... Sunshine, not so much.  She didn't mind playing with it as long as she wasn't actually touching it.  She was definitely intrigued but she didn't love it.  I really liked this one, I just wish the "snow" was actually cold with as hot as it has been outside.  THAT would have been cool.

The "snow" lasts for days or weeks depending on how you store it - and if it deflates a little, you can bring it back to life with a little spritz of water.  This is pretty messy though, definitely an outdoor sensory bin or one with a big mat underneath it.  Because of the consistency, it gets everywhere.  But it's uber-fun!

Here's a quick video I took while making the snow so you can see how quickly it grows (sorry, I am SO not a video person).  It's pretty cool and was a fun little science experiment for the kiddos.  Don't mind Lovebug showing his disdain for sitting in the grass :-)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finally caught up with her

Well it appears that surgery has finally caught up with Little Miss Sunshine, who is, quite honestly, not so sunshiney.  Sometimes she'll allow someone to cuddle with her but a lot of the time, she doesn't know what she wants and throws (a lot of) temper tantrums.  She says no a whole lot and is just kind of angry.  She pretty much only wants mama (except for this rare occasion when she sat with Angel).  She's not eating much ... not even the standard go-to "soft foods."  Oh and she's definitely not sleeping ... like at all.  Oy.  We've had a rough several days.

And this too shall pass, and this too shall pass, and this too shall pass.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

My other inspiration

So aside from my kids, my other inspiration is newborns.  Yes, I am a part-time newborn photographer and love everything about it.  I absolutely adore shooting newborns and had the chance to get my hands on twin baby girls over the weekend (my 3rd set of newborn twins ever!).  I don't normally share professional stuff on my personal blog, but I couldn't help myself!  Eeek, I was able to capture so many pretty shots of these girls ... head on over to my professional blog to see the rest!

What palate repair?

We are 4 days post-palate repair and this is my girl.  Can you even believe her?!  This is such a tough surgery, I have no idea how she is still smiling and being her spunky, sassy little self.  Drugged up on narcotics and all, she is still managing to keep up with the other kids and pose for a few pictures with me too.  God has given her an amazing amount of strength and grace, and it is certainly showing through.  After seeing her come through this surgery, well I simply cannot wait to see what else God has in store for her ... something pretty special I am sure.

And if you're interested, I managed to sorta kinda get a shot into her mouth ... I'm sorry, it's at ISO 6400 and not terribly detailed but you can see there is a PALATE in there!  I am so regretting not getting a "before" shot.  The dark line through the center is where both sides of her palate were pulled together in the middle ... and it's healing up beautifully!  There are still unhealed, raw areas down to bone (ugh) running the outside of her palate along her gumline, but they don't seem to be bothering her (thank you oxycodone!).  It's really quite surreal to see a complete palate in her mouth after being so used to (and even kind of fond of) the open area running the whole length.