Saturday, July 31

the potty training roller coaster

So, Will is doing really well with the potty! (Yay!)

However, he is still doing number two in his pants. (Boo!)

He's figured out that we don't want it in his pants and chooses to then put it in the potty himself. (Yucky. Double boo.)

His medicaid will cover his night time pull ups! (Yay!)

He's been waiting too long to go and leaves a nice large wet spot on many days. (Boo.)

He's learning how to aim and has been hitting my shower curtain less. (Yay!)

However, tonight at his grandparents' house, he managed to wait so long he wet every outfit I brought him while trying to get to the potty. (Boo.) it any wonder I'm exhausted by the end of the day????? One day, hopefully soon, this roller coaster will end!!!

Thursday, July 29


I dream of being a photographer who takes pictures of kids, especially those of kids with special needs. (Because let's face it, a photographer who really gets our kids and is willing to work with them is hard to find!)

Anyway...just something I think about from time to time. Even if it never happens, I love taking photos of my kids and hope to take a class someday.

Meanwhile, here are some shots of Norah when she's being really sweet. ;)

I made the hair bow for her. For directions, click here.

To put the vignette around her on this one, I used Picnik, my all time new favorite easy software. (and free!)

Wednesday, July 28

Yeah, what she said.

"God doesn't give children with disabilities to strong people: He gives them to ordinary, everyday people, then He helps the parents to grow stronger through the journey. Raising a child with special needs doesn't TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family."

-Author Unknown

Can I get an amen?

Loads of people have told me how strong I must be, how God knew I could handle this or that God knows what we can all handle. Maybe. I do believe that in the end, my life was designed by God for a purpose, and Will is a part of all of that.

These people who say these things are well meaning, and I'm never upset with them. But I want them to know.....I wasn't given Will because I was strong, but I was made stronger by the journey, and only by the grace of God.

Thursday, July 22

In Defense of Hope

I wanted to share this post at Hopeful Parents from over a month ago. The writer puts it so much more eloquently than I can, but I found myself nodding my head in agreement the entire time I read it.

Having a child with autism as well as a child who is from a different cultural background sometimes draws curious questions and looks. I know this. I'm aware of it.

The bottom line is that my response is what really matters here. I can choose to teach my girls kindness and grace, or I can retort with a not-so-nice look or comment. Our family chooses to hope for the best in others' intentions. That is not to say that my feelings don't get hurt at times by comments or that I can always let the stares roll off of my back so easily. (I am human, after all!) Nor do I think less of anyone who chooses to show the hurt feelings differently.

However, I am reminded that my girls are watching my every move and are learning from me. Therefore, I choose HOPE. Sometimes, I pray. For me, it is better than the alternative.

Wednesday, July 21

best 15 bucks I've spent this summer

(This is called a Stomp Rocket for those who are interested. Every time he'd set it off, Will would yell "Oh man! Amazing!" LOL)

Sunday, July 18

a special gift

When we adopted Norah from Vietnam, we traveled with three families also picking up children in the same orphanage. One was a single man who brought his sister along as support for the majority of the trip. My husband was the only other man on the trip, and so frequently, when we went shopping, the men talked as the women walked along, chatting. During one of these shopping trips, we checked out artwork, looking for something to hang on our living room wall.

When the trip was over, we all said our goodbyes, knowing that the four of us lived in separate corners of the country, and exchanged emails and addresses. It is hard to describe to many who haven't had this experience, but we shared a common bond with these families, and they will forever share a special place in our hearts.

Not long after we arrived home, we received a large package from FedEx. Inside was a beautiful painting and a note from the man we met on our trip, thanking us for the time we spent with him and for the friendship we made.

18 months after we arrived home, we finally had the painting framed and hung it on our wall. It was a very thoughtful that we will cherish forever. I know that each time we look at it, we are reminded of our trip to Vietnam and the friendships we made during our time there, and for that, I am very thankful.

Check this out!

I discovered an article this morning about "Sensory Friendly Films" being shown at AMC movie theaters! Unfortunately, we just missed July's showing, but there is one per month, and there is an AMC movie theater nearby us, just across the river.

We've taken Will to the movies before as he LOVES to watch movies and generally is pretty good. However, we always try to go to the cheap movies because they are less crowded and I never know if he is going to want to wander the row we are sitting in, or if he will make noise that would disturb others. Also recently, he has really started to show some fear during movies and wants to hide if someone is getting in trouble or hurt.

We don't necessarily need the lights turned up or the GFCF snack allowances (both part of the "sensory friendly" deal), but we would love to go and allow Will to be his own person, rather than stressing about keeping him quiet and sitting. I can't wait!

Saturday, July 17

some new pictures

We received some new pictures of Eli this morning! :) We feel SO lucky to have these to share with him as he gets older and looks back on his history.

Friday, July 16

in China today

Today, a little boy's parents will be leaving their home in our city and traveling to China to begin their trip. On Monday, they will have him in their arms. He is a friend of Eli's and has waited a very long time for his forever family. A couple of weeks ago, he had to travel back to his orphanage to wait for his parents to arrive, which meant leaving enough food, adequate medical care, and his friends and nannies behind. (He is the one sitting in the picture. Eli is on the right. Another little friend, waiting on his family, is on the left. All three of these boys have a special place in my heart after getting to know them and their families!)

Please say a prayer for him that he will sense that his parents are coming to get him soon, and pray for a safe trip for his parents.