Sunday, February 27, 2011

On our Own

We had to say Goodbye to my parents on Wednesday.  It was bittersweet, we L.O.V.E.D. seeing them, and having all of their support and help, I mean you can't go wrong with dinner cooked every night (thanks mom!).  But we were excited to get our routine going, to see what life would be like with the four of us.  When we dropped my parents off at the airport, Maya said with excitement, "Norah is staying with us?"  Love her!  I was in the car by myself for 1.5 hours with the girls and they did great ( I did have an assortment of snacks ready to go, which helped tremendously!)

I took some extra time off work, just so I could be with Norah more, for more bonding time.  It has been a nice 5 days off, busy and exhausting, but very good.  Norah is doing great!  She loves Maya and copies her with everything.  Norah is so busy, all over the place and she loves to eat!  When she wants me to hold her she says, "hold it."  She is like a little parrot and repeats the last word of every phrase we say.  Norah also loves to give hugs and kisses with her mouth wide open.  I love hugs and cuddles from little girls, they are my favorite! Maya is doing better this week also, she is not so emotional.  She protects Norah when she feels like Norah isn't safe.  She calls her, "Nory," and yesterday she undressed Norah and attempted to change her diaper...... yeah that wasn't to successful.

We have had some friends over to play, we have done some cooking, and enjoyed a shopping trip to Target (enjoyed might not be the right word).

playing with Jackson

Ian and Emily came over and we did a marshmallow activity with toothpicks, it was fun, but Norah and Ian only ate the marshmallows

I decided to try to make some cookies with the girls..... I had to keep it simple for the first attempt at cooking with 2 toddlers, so we did box brownies.

I see that!

 After I let the girls have sneak peak of the brownie mix with their fingers Norah wouldn't stop talking about it all afternoon!  She kept saying, "finger, please, patience, brownie"  I did give in, at least once, it was too cute!
*side note, when Norah is asking for something and saying "Please," we have been telling her to have patience, and now she says, "please, patience," every time she wants something.

Maya's favorite friend Taysen also came over and we read to the girls before bed time, so cute!

My Favorite Photo of the Week, Norah, doing Down Dog.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The difficulty in answering such a simple question

I have worked at Pine Creek Dental for almost 5 years now! Craziness! My patients are like family, I have seen them graduate, get married, have children, and have even had a few patients die........ I love that my job is about people and not just teeth. In the same aspect many patients have seen parts of my life, from the first moments of me becoming a hygienist, to me being pregnant, to having and baby, and  even losing one. People do care, and are always asking about my life and "how things are."

The wonderful people I work with!

These past few months have been strange, strange when I see my regular patients, who ask how Maya is, how Christmas was, and if we are going to have anymore children? Some how, answering this question has become difficult. My Christmas, well it wasn't that great and having more children...... well, we do now! When I say Maya has become a big sister I always encounter a strange and confusing look, like, how did that happen? Are you pregnant? Were you pregnant and I missed it?

I don't talk to every patient about it, that would be exhausting and to time consuming. Really just the ones who ask directly. It is so strange to me because when people have new babies they are always so eager to talk about them and how life has changed. I mean, I want everyone to know how proud and honored we are to have Norah with us, but it entails so much more than just saying, "we have a new baby!" I think sometimes it makes my patients more uncomfortable than me, because they usually say, "congratulations" and then when they realize the circumstance for our adoption they end up saying "sorry......"

I don't really know the proper way to address it, or talk about it and somehow it comes out awkward and usually involves me talking about my sisters death, sigh.... I even have a patient who's son has Kawasaki disease and when I saw her a few weeks ago I was just praying she wouldn't ask me about my sister with Kawasaki disease, because I didn't want to scare her and make her worry about her son. She didn't ask.

This isn't just at work. We have had a few encounters other places as well. For example on Sunday, we went to Villa (the health club we attend) to take the girls swimming. We saw one of Maya's little swimming friends and her parents, we exchanged hellos and then Maya said, "this is my sister, Norah." The couple looked at us oddly and then asked how old Norah was, when I said "One," they gave us an even stranger look. I wasn't about to have a deep conversation in the family locker room, so we said goodbye and went swimming. I am sure that couple left trying to figure out what the heck was going on.  Both girls having blond hair and blue eyes just adds to the confusion.

I wish I knew a good way to bring it up, or make it easy, it just isn't. I want everyone to know that Norah is not a burden for us, but a blessing.  I want people to not feel awkward or sorry that they brought up my sisters death.  I just want everyone to know that I love my daughters!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

ups and downs

We have had some really fun moments this week (photed above)  and some really yucky moments (no photos of that).  The weather his has been beautiful, so we have tried to spend a lot of time outside, except for the days where we were throwing up.......

This post is going to be A LOT of photos, so be prepared!!  I work 3 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, & Thursdays (the girls go to an in-home daycare) the other days I have off.  On Wednesday I typically try to do something fun with the girls, the park, focus on the family, chic-fil-a, craft time, just something for the girls without me being busy.  Fridays I try to reserve for workouts, shopping, and other errands (the girls come with).

This Wednesday we took the girl to Focus on the Family, one of Maya's favorite places!  It is so fun, there is a kids area called "Whit's End" and it is a blast for kids and doesn't cost a penny!

After Focus my mom and I had to go to the Social Security Office.  Ed was left home to watch the girls during nap time, not so hard.   Well, not so hard if they were actually napping.  Instead, the girl were destroying their room with diapers (clean and dirty), wipes, toys, cheerios, crushed crackers, papers and anything else you can think of.   Not only that, but they both had diarrhea (sorry Ed).  It was pretty funny......... we all spent a while cleaning the room.  We had a few major meltdowns on Wendesday since the girls didn't take a nap, so my mom and I took them on a walk.

It was kinda windy

Saturday most of us were back to feeling better (minus Ed, he probably caught it from having to change the diarrhea diapers).  Brett and I just wanted to get the girls out and give Ed a little rest so we took them to a park with a little duck pond and had a picnic.

 The girls L.O.V.E.D feeding the ducks!

Time to Eat!

one of my favs, Norah in Motion

We tried a family photo
It was such a fun day, and the girls both took a 3 hour nap afterwards!  Since they slept so long we decided to do one of our family traditions with Norah, "Family Movie Night."  We do this about once a month.   We blow up and air mattress, put lots of blankets and pillows, pop pop-corn and watch a family movie.  It is one of Maya's favorite things to do!

we made grammy join us

Sometimes Brett and I just look at each other in disbelief, that this is our life all of a sudden.  It has not been all easy, but it is the moments, like the ones you see photoed here, that help us get through!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thinking of Carrisa

I normally don't post anything on Fridays, but I have been in my room all day, incredibly sick!  I haven't been this sick since I became a mother and I feel like I can hardly function.  Good thing my parents are here, or Brett would have to come home, because I can hardly drag myself to the toilet.

I have been laying in bed, reading, thinking, and sleeping.  I have been thinking a lot about Carrisa.

I remember when we found out she was pregnant.  The word shocked was an understatement for anyone who knew her.  I was never mad at her.....I just felt a deep sadness.  Sad, because I felt like this is not what God had planned for her life, sad because the life of a single mother is hard and stressful, sad mostly because she was dealing with so much ridicule.  I remember her calling me crying because of some of the things people had said about her.  My heart broke inside for her pain.....  Surely my sister had made a mistake, be we ALL have, and hers was just magnified by the outcome.

Babies are a gift from God, no matter the timing or the circumstance and Carrisa loved her baby from the minute she knew she was going to have one despite others opinions.  Some how, over time, I think so many people changed their opinion of Carrisa's situation. They saw her love and they began to love her baby as well.  I loved when we found out the Carrisa was having a girl, because I knew it would be so fun for Maya to have a girl cousin so close in age and I knew Carrisa would be the best mommy to a little girl with all of her creativity.

Norah was born on May 23, the same date as Darren was born, she was early.  Most of you already know this, but Maya was born on the same date Darren went to be with Jesus, April 13, she was early too.  For some reason this was very special to Carrisa and I, it was like a way of God reminding us that He cares and that life is such a precious gift.  I wonder what the date Dec 11 holds (when Carrisa passed), because it seems like it is suppose to have some kind of meaning like all of the other dates in our lives.

It is so strange to think back about Carrisa's pregnancy now, because my perspective is totally different!  I believe God did plan this for Carrisa, He can redeem situations.  He allowed her to see a love that is like none-other on this earth, the love for a child.  I think this love is just a glimpse at how much He loves us.  Carrisa was given a gift, for just 18 months, but I am so glad she had her!  Norah changed Carrisa in so many ways,  I know she grew up, and grew a lot closer to the Lord.  Carrisa had an opportunity to experience unconditional love on this earth and I am so grateful for that, I just wish it could have been longer.......

Norah is a true gift from God.  A reminder that He is in control of our lives no matter what we think they should look like.   She is a reminder of Carrisa, one I get to see everyday.

Carrisa's friends said that when just passed out her lips were moving and she was whispering something they couldn't make out.  I will always wonder what she was trying to say.......