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.



  1. 25 kids in the kindergarten classroom? wow...that's a there a full time aide also...
    and I hope the 2nd appliance works out...and that Nika doesn't mind it..
    and yes, your girls are gorgeous...I completely agree!

    1. Ha! Yup, our classrooms are way overstocked. There is always a second adult in P's classroom, yes. :) What are your classroom sizes down there? Actually, I'm not sure I want to know. LOL.

  2. Love the post! My husband read the father/daughter dance part of it and is now thinking of when Paisley is old enough to have an experience like yours! Ahh, sigh, smile!!! Thanks!!!! Shannon

  3. I love your posts Bethany. Your an amazing mom and woman!

  4. I hope it works for Nika. I wonder if it would work for Asher's tongue sucking? (his lovely orphanage habit) That said, I have spent some time in his kindergarten classroom, and there are two kids sucking their thumbs. They have no shame about it and don't try to hide it. But I hear you...I'd be trying the same thing. Again, I wonder about Asher's habit. Oh, and the sucking in the kitchen part? Yeah...I don't even attempt to bake or teach my kids to cook. It is the one area of motherhood I clearly suck!!!!

  5. How long are you leaving them in for? I always do the shortest time... they don't ever look done but once they cool they are oh so yummy!! Btw you have 3 of the cutest kids I know.. after my two of course!! ;) The classes here are about 15 kids for kindergarten.

  6. Oh my goodness! She fits the theme perfectly to the T!!

    My daughter and her swim buddies are currently ranked 2nd in a Parents Magazine Photo Contest. If you think it's the cutest Pic please vote!


  7. Kyle's texts made my heart melt too! I love how Payton posed for the camera in her cute little sock hop outfit! Both girls are so photogenic! :)

    Coincidentally, Chloe and I just made cookies yesterday as well, so I can identify with the rush of emotions and future dreaming that came up for you. As for my baking skills, they have always ended up somewhere at the top of my talents list as opposed to my laundry skills (removing stains, ironing, repairing through sewing, etc) which have never been worthy of even being on "the list". HA! I'd be happy to share some of my tricks of the trade & recipes!

    Great post mama! I smiled all the way through it! :)

  8. Dying of cuteness overload. K, for the cookies mam. Here is a tip: bake them only for the amount of time the recipe calls for, they will look underdone, take them out anyways, tap the side of the pan on the counter to help them "sink" and let them cool on the tray. Works every time.

    P.S. I'm currently fighting the good fight to keep Jack from sucking on his fingers as well. I take them out of his mouth fifty times per day and it's getting to be less and less. . .fingers crossed (and not in my mouth)

    :) Have a wonderful day mam, we really must meet someday, btw.

  9. Our cookies always used to burn too. Then we bought an oven thermometer and it turns out the oven was running 50 degrees hotter than it should. So now we set it 50 degrees lower than called for and our stuff never burns!

  10. You already know the secret. Photograph the cookies so they don't LOOK burned...then blog about them. When they start whining that you NEVER do ANYTHING with them...pull up the blog. Archived proof!

    Love the photos from the dance! What a house full of characters you have!

  11. I love you blog. Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck with the thumb crib, I hope it works.

    Your cookie sheets are too dark, lower the oven temp 25 degrees, it should help a lot. Also, I highly recommend putting parchment on the cookie sheet, cookies never stick, even burnt ones. :) Good luck. (They look delicious!)

  12. I don't know if you have gotten any "expert" advice on how to deal with the finger sucking...and I don't know how old your daughter was when y'all were united, but this obviously bothers you a lot.

    My daughter was six months when we adopted her from China. She had been in an orphanage the entire time. When they handed her to me she looked me in the eyes, stuck two fingers in her mouth, then laid her head on my shoulder. Here were are 9 1/2 years later and she will still suck those two fingers to self soothe albiet not as often. It's usually when she's really tired. Over the years we tried. We preached germs and peer pressure and every other reason we could think of. Then we gave up. She's a highly intelligent child. She knows. She doesn't need us riding her back about it.

    It's decreased a lot and I believe a lot has to do with being in the 4th grade and being challenged by being in AP classes. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when they went on that field trip...on that bus, she laid her head against the side of the bus and those fingers went in her mouth. She'll stop in Lilly time.

    1. That is great for you guys!! My daughter's finger sucking was interfering with her learning and quite frankly... With her general interactions with others. No, it's not okay with me for her to sit in the corner and just suck. Because that is what she would be doing day in and out if we hadn't intervened. Thankfully she is doing great!!

  13. If she didn't think sucking was bad maybe she wouldn't hide to do it?