Monday, April 23, 2012

Makes my heart melt.

We are in the car now. They did the raffles and then it cleared out... so Payton wanted to go. She got a keychain from the dance... she is so proud! 

While we were walking out, Payton said, "Fun Daddy!" I told her, "Thank you for dancing with Daddy." She said, "Thank you for dancing, Daddy!" Makes my heart melt! 


That was the text message I got from Kyle when he and Payton were on their way home from a father/daughter 50's sock hop for girl scouts. Sigh... how did I, the mama, get so lucky to have these two in my life?!


A father/daughter dance... just one of so many dreams I have for my girl. She was insanely excited to dress up and pull away with her Daddy in his cherry red hot rod.

Gosh... she is so beautiful. I could stare at her No bias here... ha!

A special little thank you to Payton's friend, Julia, for making her night so special. Makes this mama's heart so happy. And this is where I have typed and backspaced over my worries about 472 times.



From the moment we met Nika in her baby home... she has sucked on two of her fingers. Perhaps cute... at first... a natural soother for her as she lived the life of an orphan. Who would have known that her finger sucking would become the one point of contention between us.

Cute as she is... finger sucking is not cute when you are five.


We have been amazed at how much she has come out of her shell... especially this past year. She has grown so much... emotionally, physically and cognitively. She is finally using her speech spontaneously... and becoming quite the independent little girl. Her teacher tells me that she is a leader in the classroom... that is a far stretch from the quiet and shy little girl that refused to participate in group settings.

One little problem... finger sucking. There is no rhyme or reason as to when she sucks... perhaps when she gets bored, nervous or unsure about something. She knows she is not to suck her fingers when she is with me... but I leave and she sucks. There is question as to whether or not she sucks when I'm gone because she thinks she can get away with it or she just misses her mama. I like to believe it is the latter... but who am I kidding... home girl is smart and believes she can get away with it when I'm not there.

When her teacher told me she was purposefully removing herself from the general area of her classroom in order to suck (i.e. going into the bathroom, hiding in various areas of the classroom)... I really started to worry about what kindergarten would look like for her. If we hadn't curbed her sucking as much as we have... I truly believe she would still be sitting in a corner, sucking on her fingers and watching the world go by her... just as she did when we brought her home from Russia.

Enter the habit appliance.


Nika's dentist and I talked at length about my concerns for kindergarten. I feel like she is already going to have enough hurdles to cross to be included in a general education classroom. With 25 students in her class... her teacher is not going to care if Nika is removing herself to suck. That behavior will escalate to become the number one reason to kick her out of general education... and I just don't even want to go there.

So we had her fitted for the appliance and it lasted approximately 12 hours before it fell out. Sigh. I gave her Juice Plus+ gummies right before bed... uh yeah, oopsie.


Her dentist told me the next day she didn't think it was a great fit to begin with... so we had to start the process over. Phew. Now we wait for her second appliance to be made... praying this next one works and that this will become a thing of the past.

Remember when...? Now that will be a good day.


There is something feel good about baking cookies with my girls. Both of them looking to me for reassurance and guidance that they are scraping the cookie dough or sprinkling the sugar just right.  


Teaching them the nurturing things that moms do... hoping that someday they will be able to nurture someone of their own.


For reasons unknown to me... I clearly suck in the kitchen. I burn my cookies every time... burn pizza every time. Where is Martha when you need her? Here is to hoping my girls don't remember the burnt part of baking.


Headed to find a semi-soft cookie to share with a tall glass of milk... if only they were not burnt. Sigh.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery

Last night I began hearing chatter of all these people who were getting up early to go see the space shuttle Discovery land at Dulles Airport. Eh? I had no idea what everyone was talking about... that is what I get for not watching the news. Oopsie.

I woke up this morning and got all excited reading about the shuttle after pulling it up on our local news website. I asked Kyle if we were allowed to give our kids permission to play hooky from school... to watch a space shuttle land.

Hell yeah, we were allowed! We realized that this would be a once in a lifetime experience for us to see... and I'm pretty sure our kids will remember this forever, rather than what they learned in school the morning of April 17th.

"Get your stuff together... we are going to watch the space shuttle land! I will take you to school when we are done. Let's go!"

Traffic was horrific. There were people everywhere. The highway became a parking lot and the police didn't care. That was awesome. We ended up sitting on an overpass right by the end of the runway. "Here it comes! Oh my gosh, this is amazing! Look you guys, there it is!"



Cue the floodgates. Oh my word... I bawled as I sat on the hood of my car snapping my camera. That dang fighter jet... does it to me every time. And my sweet son stood next to me rubbing my leg to soothe me... oh, his sweet soul.

We heard that the shuttle would be circling back around, so we moved down the road to another location. We all gathered on top of the car and waited.


This time we were literally right under the shuttle.

Amazeballs. Again.


Mason... cue the video.

Seriously a once in a lifetime experience... I was so happy we decided to go. On our way home... we were shocked to see the shuttle again! Apparently it hadn't yet landed, but it seemed it was landing this next time around, as the landing gear was now done.

So awesome.


I love our country. I love things like this that bring so many people from all walks of life together. So much pride. So amazing. Love.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It is okay. And it is worth it.

Infertility can be a hard thing... if you let it. We have been dealing with infertility for years. By now... we know to expect the worst and hope for the best. I think. But that does not mean that we do not get emotionally drained... sad... or incredibly frustrated. Because we do... and we can.

And it is okay.

Struggle helps to define who we are as human beings. It helps us grow and become better people. Yet... we are so afraid to be in that position, because we know how much it can hurt. But we overcome and realize how much we needed that struggle when we get to the other side.

And it is okay.

There have been times in our life that we have knowingly placed ourselves in a vulnerable position. Infertility treatments. Adoption. Adoption of a child that has Down syndrome. Should we choose to turn the other way and push these things away... just because we know we could be hurt by these very things? Or do we choose to move head on... because we know the love and joy that we can get from these things?

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
~Wayne Gretzky


It is worth it.


Working on dusting off this little blog in cyberspace...

Kyle and I enjoyed a complimentary trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico... courtesy of his employer. Jobs in the private sector rock. It was a nice break as we prepared to return home to infertility treatments... a time to reflect on our past, present and future. And miss our babies, mostly.

Our blurry self portrait... we have to take what we can get.

The older our kids get... the harder it is for us to leave them home. So often throughout our trip, we found ourselves saying, "Oh my gosh, Mason would love this." or "We have to bring the kids back here." I know how precious my childhood memories are to me and I want my kids to have that too... in abundance.

We walked on the bottom of the sea while we were there. It was so weird and scary and cool. They put these astronaut looking helmets on you as you descend under water... and even though you can stick your hand up in your helmet to scratch your face... somehow you can breathe and in fact, your hair doesn't even get wet.


Salud Mexico... be back soon.




We recently celebrated my niece's baptism. We admittedly have been absent from church and it was nice to be reminded of the reason I love it so much. A good cry during Amazing Grace or wanting to comfort the woman behind me that has cried the entire service. My soul needs that hour on Sunday mornings... and I want my kids to have that too. It is a little embarrassing when your kids go up for the children's sermon and they barely know how to pray... or if you are my youngest, you just stand in the middle of all the kids and wave to the congregation during prayer. Or if you are my oldest, you accept communion, even though you haven't been through your First Communion yet. Or if you are my middle child, you lunge for a handful of communion wafers, as the poor gentleman tries to stop you... just because you can. Sigh.

We enjoyed having Kyle's parents stay with us the weekend of the baptism. My father-in-law tackled my honey-do list... thank you very much... and my kids were so excited to spend that time with their grandparents.

Hats courtesy of Dick's Last Resort... ha!



The girls have begun therapeutic horseback riding... they love it. And I love it... it is so fun to do something... different. Now I secretly want to run away and live in a ranch with my horses. Ha.

It took Payton about a half hour to get up the courage to get on the horse during her first session. Now... she is golden.


Nika has no fear... she jumped right on and was trotting on day one.


The girls' therapist is amazing... it is so fun to watch and see how she incorporates so many things into horseback riding. More to come...


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's beyond frustrating... infertility, that is.

Somehow it's been over a year since our failed attempt to have another baby. We had two embryos frozen from when we went through in vetro fertilization with Payton. I felt strongly about using those embryos rather than start fresh... I think mostly because they were Payton's fraternal twins.

One survived the thaw, one didn't.

We were pregnant for a hot minute... ecstatic until we learned the embryo had arrested in development and we had a chemical pregnancy on our hands.

I was truly gutted.

A charm Kyle got me after we found out I was pregnant... before we learned it was a chemical pregnancy.

Fast forward to the present... we tried again. Over the course of the past several weeks... we reintroduced ourselves to daily injections, ultrasounds, bloodwork, anesthesia and an egg retrieval, an embryo transfer, bed rest and high anxiety.

ivf 3:12 wm

I am five and a half weeks pregnant... but I am miscarrying.

I am sad and frustrated... incredibly frustrated. Going through infertility treatments requires so much money, so much time... so much is invested in this one chance to have a baby. And to be so close... yet so far away... it is beyond frustrating.

So now we wait. We have five embryos on ice across town... praying one of them will make their debut into this world someday.