Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just a trim

May 25, 6:40 pm
beforefrontbeforeback

haircut1

May 25, 7:00 pm 
afterfrontafterback 

(Pardon the au naturale face and hair…except for lip gloss.  Never leave home without properly placed lip gloss…even for a haircut in somebody’s basement shop.)

It was SO long overdue. When you get to the point of wearing “I gave up long ago” hair every day, it’s time for a change.  Tomorrow I’ll play with it officially and actually “do” it.  Maybe I’ll take another pic then.  Maybe you’re sick of seeing me staring at you already!

Thanks to Julie for the excellent photography and Kinlee-wrangling!!
kiki

Monday, May 24, 2010

Schmooze from the start

Today M started his new job. Its kind of the same job in a different place. But better money, and better environment hopefully. Its a bit of a commute to adjust to, since we had been spoiled by the 3 mile distance for the last two years, but he made it this morning in about 22 minutes. He wanted to start off right, so I ran out this morning at 6:20 am to fetch a selection of donuts for him to take, per his request. He should be home in about an hour. We shall see how they were received... But man, did I want one for myself!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Celebrating Princess Chrissie

I'm watching the funeral for little Chrissie (allarepreciousinhissight.Blogspot.Com). Humbling. But though they miss her, they celebrate.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Naptime 5-21-10

Today has been a full day, and the girls are snoozing very peacefully.  They were late to nap because we picked M up from work after lunch… he got to leave early because it’s his last day! New job starts on Monday! (More about that later…if I remember.) 

I went in to check on Braska a bit ago, since it’d been almost 2 hours since she went to sleep—much longer than her usual 1-hour nap.  She was still zonked.  And cute as a bug.  She often sleeps all tucked in under herself, but today she’s relaxed and sprawled out.
naptime-braska-full

Pure peace.
naptime-braska-close


And Daddy, who loves any reason to nap, especially with his little downsie, couldn’t resist crawling in by her for a little rest himself.
naptime-dadbraska2naptime-dadbraska

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Got stuff?? Can I borrow it?

Ok, so maybe “borrow” isn’t the right word.  Can I sell it for you?  The only catch is that you don’t get the moolah.

Say what?

By now, you’ve heard more than once from me about Dashlyn, Julie’s newest daughter, who we hope to get to meet in person this fall (or even late summer…if I’m hoping bravely!).  Julie and Allan are adopting her from Eastern Europe, and this is an expensive venture to undertake.  They have done a good job of tightening the budget and getting creative in order to make it happen.  But we’re putting together a garage sale on June 5 with all of the proceeds going toward the adoption, to help them be sure to have all that’s required for travel and fees. 

If you’re anywhere around the St. Louis Metro area, and you’ve got stuff you’d like to clear out of your closet or playroom or garage…let me know! I’ll even come pick it up if you’re not too far away!

If you’re not close by geographically, but you’d like to contribute to the adoption and cash is not your best friend right now…would you be able to ship us a box or two to put in the sale??  We’d love to help you purge that storage area that needs organized or clear out the cabinets that you’d prefer to use for things you USE!

We’ve had some wonderful people already respond with stuff, and we’re sure it’s going to be a great sale.  But we’d love to have a MEGA sale!  So here’s you’re chance to do something with all that stuff you said you would “do something” with someday… and you’d be helping bring a little beautiful girl home to her Mommy and Daddy and a family who can’t wait to love her like crazy.

And all you bloggers… if you’d link this post to spread the word, that would be great too!! Thanks!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Naptime 5-19-10

After she wakes up from her nap, Braska hangs out for a while in my bed--where she naps while KiKi sleeps in B's bed due to better light and sound situations during the day--and she finds all kinds of comfy positions to relax.

What? You can't kiss the bottom of your foot ?

Chrissie is finally dancing

I’ve posted a few times about little Chrissie, adopted 6 months ago from Serbia, who had very dangerous heart surgery a month ago today.  She has had a very difficult 30 days, and overnight last night she finally got relief for her pain and struggles.  She is now “dancing with Jesus,”  as her mom posted this morning. I pray comfort for her family, and yet I am so happy that Chrissie is no longer fighting and hurting as she has been for these last weeks.  She was a very tough little girl, and she fought as hard as she could.  Now she gets to relax and enjoy the energy she always wanted to have…dancing and laughing and playing. 

Here’s a clip from Lorraine’s blog from the moments before she went to surgery on 4/19/10.  Cherished pictures, no doubt.  She was a beautiful little girl and SO very loved since coming home to Texas.  And her family knows that they will see her again…and the dancing will go on forever!

image

Please pray for this family as they miss their princess desperately.  They were so very faithful, with amazing testimonies to God’s provisions and his miracles even in these difficult times.  I am quite sure Lorraine agrees with me in this… God is good, ALL the time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Naptime 5-18-10

Sweet snoozing Braska.

When everything else makes me want to throw in the towel and head for the hills, rocking her and singing her to sleep calms me down. This girl is no accident.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Naptime 5-14-10

Kinlee again. Friday she slept all covered up. It was more chilly and she loves her blanket.

Karen K--She is rough on it but it is starting to travel around the house with her.

Braska has never had a special doll or blanket that she wanted beyond the bed. Its kind of fun to see KiKi toddle around dragging her blanket just like Linus, over the shoulder.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cutting edge drying technology

Whatta ya think of my state of the art drying rack? You just wash the dishes in the sink and the place them in all the nice slots for perfect drying position. There are two levels to accommodate all the dirty dishes toddlers and men who eat like teenagers can generate. It even closes right up in the cabinet and disappears!

For the children's entertainment, there is a spinning toy hanging from the top rack to keep them busy while Mommy works. When it is in its hidden position, there are fun clickety dials and buttons on the front to enjoy as well.

The only negative I have seen so far is that when not latched properly, the door will fall open unhindered by springs to keep it safe for little heads below.

Jealous aren't ya?

Now if only they would make something that WASHED the dishes too. That would be great!!

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Naptime 5-13-10

Naptime 5-13-10
I'm thinking this will be a new feature. "Naptime" Pictures of the girls sleeping. Really for my amusement alone, but that is ok with me. Someday I might want to look back and see them. Kinlee is the one with the most interesting sleeping habits lately. So we will start with her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Having twins!

Did you do a double take at the title?  Did you jump right into the post to get the “big news”?  It’s funny what a couple words and an exclamation point can do to some people.

We’re not having twins. Or babies of any kind.  Just to be clear.

I get asked a lot about how the girls are doing in terms of development and size, relative to each other.  Only a few times have I been asked when we are out if they are twins.  I think the difference in hair length is the big giveaway for most, at least that’s been the “tip-off” for a couple people who mentioned it.  But we do get a lot of comments about how similarly sized they are.

There have been many times in the last few months when I’ve thought that this must be a little peek into what it’s like to have twins.  At least for this little period we’re in right now.  Developmentally, they are so close in age in many ways.  Not all.  Braska still has Kinlee beat with speech and language, that’s for sure.  But Kinlee is picking up words and signs faster than I can keep up.  But with gross motor, Kinlee has passed Braska by.  Kinlee can climb more efficiently, walk steadier and more quickly, she is far more balanced and solid on her feet, and she has a great deal more stamina than Braska.  With fine motor, it’s the same story.  Kinlee can manage small things, open lids, sign some things more correctly, and she can push any button she wants with great accuracy.  These are things that Braska struggles with.  Though Braska knows far more signs, she doesn’t necessarily do all the intricate finger work correctly because her little cute, stubby fingers don’t cooperate with her.

Clearly, they are very different little girls.  But for this short period, one that will probably be fading away by mid-summer, they are interested in much the same things, entertained by some of the same things, and they function very similarly in the home setting. Soon Kinlee will be enjoying her role as the leader, which she is practicing currently when she gets the chance, and Braska will be following and learning from her.  And that’s ok.  That’s not bad, in my opinion. It’s just what is.

I’m not selling Braska short, and I’m not saying Kinlee won’t learn from her later on.  I think Kinlee will always learn from Braska, and there are definitely areas where Braska will maintain her “lead” for quite some time.  But the reality of developmental delays is that at some point, the younger child will surpass the older child in some physical and cognitive realms.  We’re ok with that, because we believe Braska is exactly who she is supposed to be.  She doesn’t just “happen to have” Down syndrome, and she definitely doesn’t “suffer” from it.  She was created just as she is, and though there are some times I wish I could help her in ways that I cannot, I wouldn’t change anything about her most core qualities and design.

Comparisons can be dangerous, I know. But I am comfortable that we are enjoying this time that they are so nearly matched and we’ll celebrate them both as they grow and progress through the next stages.  We cheer Braska when she takes a bite with proper mouth and tongue position and when she closes her mouth around her straw, even if she doesn’t drink, because this is huge!  And we cheer Kinlee when she eats her whole meal by herself—veggies, meat, pasta, fruit, and all, washed down with a big cup of milk.  Different celebrations, but the same excitement for each.  We’re impressed with them both for all they do, and just because they look so similar in size right now doesn’t mean that we don’t recognize their individual needs.

It’s fun that they can share clothes. It’s fun that they both love to wear bows in their hair.  It’s fun that they both like to hold hands and walk to the car after church.  They will change, we will change, and all the elements around us will evolve as we go through life.  But for now,  it’s kind of fun having this little tiny glimpse of what it might be like to have twins.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mommy and girls 2010

I decided that I would begin a new tradition—though it’s not all that creative an idea—and take a picture of me and the girls each year on Mother’s Day.  I’m usually behind the camera, so I don’t have many with us together.

Our first year to document was a little tricky. Kinlee was crying (surprise!), and to get her to grin a little, I had to wiggle them around and be silly and ended up looking distorted and goofy.  But it’s really about the girls anyway… so it’s ok.

One Blessed Mommy

First, to my mom, Happy Mother’s Day. Once again, I send no card and buy no gift.  It’s getting to be a habit. I hope you have a day you consider enjoyable…

To the rest of the mothers, I truly hope you have a marvelous day of relaxation, praise from your husband for the awesome job you’re doing at raising little humans, very well behaved children, and I wish you all the satisfaction that a wonderful Mother’s Day can bring.

 

Anyone get a really great gift? Brag a little…tell us about it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Provided for...again,

Just bought a car...Need arose. 2 days and $1700 later need was met. And we were able to pay cash. Dave Ramsey will be so proud.

It is a 1998 Volvo V70 AWD. Tons of bells and whistles and leather and all--all just icing. Not necessity. But the deal was great and that sold it. Seriously $1700. That's it. Now M has a car to drive...and we're still debt free! Woo hoo!

God continues to bless us beyond our hopes, and we are so very thankful!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Plans. Hope. Future.

Not 30 minutes ago, I was just composing an email to a bloggy friend who has been on my mind this afternoon.  I just jotted a quick note to let her know I was praying for her, thinking of her and her family.  She’s working through some issues, none of which I know the first detail about. But that’s ok. HE knows.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, below.  

From the NIV
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

From The Message
“I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

I shared this with my friend in the email, and I’m quite sure she knows this passage well.  It may be one of her favorites as well.  But when I looked at it in The Message—not usually one of my preferred versions—I saw something in a new way. 

Simply stated. “I know what I’m doing.” 

At that very moment, I looked at my phone to see that I’d missed some calls.  One of them was from a dear friend, and I texted her back to see if she needed something.  She texted back some upsetting news and I called immediately.  She is facing a situation where her future is suddenly looking much different than she planned.  It’s not fair. It’s painful.  Her family will be very upset by this news. Innocent lives are involved.  There’s nothing about the situation that makes sense to me. One person’s decision could make many other lives very difficult.

“I know what I’m doing.”

I don’t know why I didn’t mention it to her on the phone.  I should have. But it was in my mind as I listened and had no words of wisdom.  She knows better than I, better than most, how trust and faith require letting go of control. She knows that life does not always follow HER plan. Yet it doesn’t make receiving potentially heartbreaking news any easier.  It doesn’t make it less difficult to see the pain in your children’s eyes.

What we must rely on, even when we can’t see through the tears, is that HE does know.  It still hurts. It still isn’t fair.  It still seems wrong. But we know HE knows the plan. HE will always be with us as we take one very hesitant step at a time.

I spent time right then praying. Praying through this verse for both these families.  Making bold requests before the Lord to make this piece of the plan known to them and to make a way where there does not seem to be one. I’m not giving up. HE knows the plan. I don’t. So I will continue to ask and expect until I see that my requests are not in line with the plan.  Then I will defer to his plan. Easier said than done. I know.

Our world is flawed. Our world is comprised of good and bad.  Being a Christ-follower does not exempt you from having pain and disappointment.  But it does give you the ability to KNOW, without a doubt, that the Creator of all things knows your heart, your desires, your pain, and he has a plan. 

He knows what he is doing. 

I wish I could see the plan sometimes. But even in not allowing that, he knows better.  So I will trust, plead on behalf of my friends, and I will believe in HIS plan.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

St Louis Moms: Photography opportunity!!!

First--Braska did great! We're home and all is well. Now onto more exciting things...

I do love taking pictures, but I don't have a digital SLR camera. I hope to one day before it's old news. But for now, I'm relying on what I've got. And if you've seen my camera lately you know that a paper clip is literally what makes it go...sad, but true. (And, frankly, my some of my best pics lately didn't even garner a single comment... and I was so darn proud of them! Ah well, the fickleness of blogland.)

But if YOU have a DSLR and you live in or near St. Louis, my friends Jodie and Kim are doing a great class each month this summer for moms who would like to get tips and tricks from the pros! You can check out the info here. I'm SO going to do this someday...when I get the cool kids camera. But I'd love to see someone go and really enjoy these super sassy photographers and their excellent talent.

OhMyGoodness!GoodMorning.HowAreYou?

I’m all hyper and talking a million miles a minute.  I got a coffee at QT on the way in this morning and I now realize how long it’s been since I had caffeine! It’s making me very awake, and I’m typing extra fast.  And I think my husband—who wants to nap—is about to lock me in a closet. 

But if you’re going to have an up day, why not pick a day when you have to spend time at a children’s hospital and just sit and wait… it’s a good day to be perky! Woo hoo!

Oh, and by the way, even my praying has been hyper.  Good thing God knows about my caffeine issues.  He’s good with it.  He can still understand me when I’m jabbering on.  It’s the National Day of Prayer, ya know… so whether you’re praying for Braska or praying for Chrissie or one of our other sweet friends, OR if you’re praying thankful prayers that we live in this great country where our kids can have QUICK and high-quality healthcare…be sure to pray for our nation and it’s continued blessings.

Little shopperettes

To hold you over... A phone shot of my little shopping buddies yesterday.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The day has finally (almost) come

Tomorrow is Braska’s surgery for ear tube placement.  Updates will be mostly on her blog, so FYI… if you want to keep up with all the action. (That may be profoundly over-exaggerating the situation.)  Since the tonsils and adenoids have not been excluded from tomorrow’s party, it’ll be much less involved.  There’s good and bad to that…but that’s for another time.

I’ve got my mobile setup ready, though, so I can post random things here if I just get bored and fell like it.  We’ll see how it goes.  We have to be there at 645 am.  It’s a 30 minute drive.  I should probably take a shower before we go, in fairness to others in the waiting area.  Do the math—that’s going to be an early morning. Who knows what kind of gobblety-gook my mind will come up with…

I mentioned on Braska’s blog and I’ll ask here… anyone got a story or joke they wanna share to give me something to laugh at, shake my head in amazement (or dismay) at, or just roll my eyes at while I wait tomorrow?? 

Just make it up, I don’t mind.  Maybe the one with the biggest far-out story gets a prize… that could be fun.

Prayers for our girl and her team of professionals tomorrow are appreciated.  I know some of you are already on it!

MMS Test post #2

MMS testing...will it or wont it?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BrocChick Journey: Mile marker 35

First, yes, I’m still on the wagon. Haven’t fallen off yet, though I’ve dragged my toe over the edge here and there… it’s been about 3 1/2 months since I started.

This last month has really looked more like a barely sloping plateau, but even after eating way too many yummy things this past weekend, I still dropped to a new little milestone of 35 pounds gone! Woo Hoo! (And let me tell you, I did not feel well eating all those “unapproved” items like carbs and a sweet niblet here and there…my body was not happy with me. But MAN were they yummy!)

And can I just say how silly it is, how addicted I must be to digiscrapping habits, that I can’t just type in “35 pounds,” I have to go and create a new cute little graphic… funny.

I’m back in the jeans I wore right after Braska when I stepped out of about 40 pounds in just a few weeks. This is a big thing for me. I missed these jeans, 3 pair of Levis that I love. (If you weren’t around then…it was not healthy, and I gained no weight with Braska, so it was all “new” loss, not baby weight. But I don’t recommend the stress diet.)

Bunches more to go, but I’m moving forward.  Hoping to get more regular with the make-me-sweat exercise… I’m going to try hard.  I know it will make such a huge difference.  Gotta make it a priority.

One more time… YAY!!!