Monday, June 25, 2007

"Caillou is a bad boy."


"Caillou is a bad boy"

Signing Time with Rachel

Good Morning Sunshine!

Biggy Girl

This weekend we attended the free PBS Kids Day downtown. We knew Elmo would be there (but we weren't waiting in an hour line to see him) and we found out last Wednesday that Rachel from "Signing Time" would be there. The highlight of the day occurred when we were unintentionally positioned side-stage for the opening ceremony. We were just standing there waiting to meet my brother and Nate when Rachel walked within a couple feet of us and Violet lit up. Rachel took Violet and gave her a big hug. This would have been enough to satisfy Violet but we stayed for the performance anyway.

You can see Violet above in the "Caillou" stand-up, but I don't like her to watch him. One day I didn't shut the TV off immediately after Mr. Rogers and Caillou came on. I was listening to the show from the dining room and decided that I better intervene before Violet picked up on Caillou's behavior. I thought I would make it a teachable moment by explaining why I don't approve of Caillou and she interrupted me by simplifying it, "Caillou is a bad boy." OK, that's good enough for me.

This morning Violet was playing an ABC game on the Internet. She pushed "M" and the computer showed a picture of a monkey. Violet started saying, "Mama, that's like George Bush. Like George Bush Mama. Mama, that's like George Bush." I asked her what she meant and that was all she could say to me. I think she may have meant Curious George. She isn't familiar with him, but she did see pictures of him Saturday. This is the only explanation I can come up with.

You can see in the picture above that Anara started to sit this weekend. It was a big deal because she has never put herself in a sit position or even remained in a sit for more than a few seconds. She didn't stay there very long, but I was overjoyed that she is trying it out.

Tomorrow we see the wound specialist and hopefully we won't be packing Anara's "owie" anymore. We are praying that Violet gets some relief from her respiratory issues and Anara can finally have regular bowel movements that don't interrupt everyone's sleep on a nightly basis.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Can me show this to Rachel?"

Saturday we are going to PBS Kids Day and we recently found out that Rachel Coleman from "Signing Time" will be there. Violet loves Rachel and often brings her up in conversation. This will be Violet's 2nd time to see Rachel in person. She has been asking lots of questions about seeing Rachel like, "Can me give Rachel hug? Can me see Alex? Can me take this to Rachel?" And most recently "Can me show this to Rachel?" The last question was asked while we were in the car. I am used to the Rachel questions and usually just say "Yes Violet that is fine," but she kept asking so I looked to see what she wanted to show Rachel. It was this silly face with her cheeks pulled out. I hope Rachel doesn't mind ;)

Yesterday we were at the zoo and a young man walked by dressed in white jeans, shirt, and hat with a scruffy beard. Violet said very loudly, "Mama, is that Jesus?" The guy kind of laughed to himself and kept walking by. I told Violet that he was just a man, but that he might be like Jesus. The next time the man walked by us Violet said, "Not Jesus Mama, just a man." I wonder what he was thinking and whether he had ever been called Jesus before.

Anara's wound is healing, but we still have to pack it to make sure it heals from the bottom to the top. She still has bad diarrhea and we have to clean and pack the wound 7-9 times per day. It will be great when we can just stick a band aid over it instead of having to put gauze inside.

Last night was the best night of sleep I have had in a while. Anara woke up with a fever around 11:30pm and then Violet needed a breathing treatment around 2:30am. Anara still has a little temp. this morning, but she is playing and seems happy. Violet is getting a breathing treatment right now (and watching "Baby Eintein").

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Not wookin Mama"

This is what Violet says when things are not going according to her plan or she is struggling with the task at hand.

Sleeping with both girls upstairs last night might have worked if Violet wouldn't have coughed and Anara wouldn't have pooped. Violet was coughing pretty hard from 11:30-1:00am. Finally at 1:00am, I brought Violet downstairs so that she wouldn't keep disturbing Anara (who was stirring after almost every cough) and sent Nate upstairs to sleep with Anara. At 2:00am Anara started whining, but it was short lived and we fell back asleep. Then at 5:00am, Anara whined a little more and didn't seem like she was going to give up. I went upstairs with a bottle and changed her diaper. She had a bowel movement and there was stool in her open wound.

Today we went to Riley for our weekly visit with the urologist. He and the ostomy nurse examined the wound and said that we were doing a great job caring for it. I was actually surprised because Anara has had diarrhea and it fills up with stool about 6 or 7 times a day. The wound team has been trying to figure out a way to pack and dress the wound to keep it from being exposed to urine and feces. Today we thought we found the answer. The nurse sprayed some adhesive around the wound and then put a new, fancier bandage on the packed wound. I was excited and thought maybe we finally had it figured out...........until we got home and Anara had succeeded in pushing the packing out and the band aid was flopping in the feces. Oh well, guess we will try for another answer next week, but in the meantime we would like to get rid of this diarrhea.

Violet - why is she always sick???? She eats well, she takes vitamins, she isn't exposed to huge groups of kids daily, and yet we cannot get her healthy. Last night she was coughing in the middle of the night and I gave her both inhalers. She had a nagging cough that almost started to sound croupy. Today she is sneezing and her nose is running. Allergies?!? What can she be allergic to? We use organic cleaning products, we have no pets, we have an air purifier, we pulled up our downstairs carpet, and she takes vitamins. What more can be done? I just keep thinking it's viral, but man that is a lot of viruses.

Ok, babies are down for a nap and we have house church tonight so I better get cleaning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"I don't like Richard Scarry Mama"

Video of Violet feeding Anara - sorry about the size.

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We have been going to the library and picking out books for the summer reading program. I always pick a Richard Scarry book, but I shouldn't have told Vi the author's name because now she won't read them with me. Apparently he should have written under a pseudonym because Violet is fixated on the "scary". She doesn't like "Scarry" books.

Tonight we moved Anara out of our bedroom. She is still sleeping in the pack-and-play, but we put it in the guestroom. We hope that someday she and Violet will share a room, but it doesn't appear that will happen soon. Anara is really sensitive to loud noises, and she lays flat on the ground and hits her head when Vi yells at her. Violet knows this and so she purposely screams at her to make her start hitting herself. One night I thought I would be smart and put them to bed in the same room. Violet screamed and screamed and Anara cried and cried.

Anara is eating more and more solids. She loves Cheerios and Goldfish and will try almost anything as long as Violet is the one putting it in her mouth. She will drink from a sippy, but only if Violet is holding it.

Here are some pictures of Anara playing with the dollhouse. As you can see she is starting to sit. I actually put her in a sit position to see if she would play with the dollhouse, and she only stayed in that position for a few seconds, but it was long enough for me to snap a picture.

Here is a video of Anara saying and signing "More", and I have no idea what Violet is doing in the background but she does say, "That scares Anara Mama?"

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Long Time No Blog

Wow, I can't believe that is has been more than two weeks since my last post. If I have given any of you a hard time for not posting regularly, please forgive my hypocrisy.

I will try to remember the highlights from the past couple weeks.

I had my 10-year high school reunion June 9th. It was wonderfully attended and I was able to catch up with several classmates. I also got to spend time with Jody (from CA). Jody (you might remember her from her great wedding toast) facilitated Anara's adoption and if it hadn't been for her we probably wouldn't have been considering adoption at the time we did.

Anara had her suture (remaining from a surgery in Kyrgyzstan shortly after birth) removed last Monday and we stayed overnight at Riley. The MD removed a sizable abcess and he had to leave the wound open to avoid further infection. We have been packing Anara's open wound and this has been an unpleasant experience for all involved. I had a really difficult time with it initially and Nate's mom (a nurse) came Wednesday evening and stayed through Saturday to help. Anara seems to be in considerable pain when we are stuffing the gauze in her wound and it doesn't appear that the tylenol is helping. Anara's big surgery is tentatively set for September 6th. The MD wants her to have plenty of time to heal from this procedure and he would like to see her put on a little more weight (maybe at least hit the bottom line of the growth chart).

Violet has been having a rough time. I can imagine that her struggles are due to her life changing and not being the center of our attention as often as she would like. She is also getting two-year molars and has been sick almost constantly since we returned from Kyrg. We would like to see her healthy for at least a couple weeks. She has also been really rashy and itchy. We don't know if it is heat, allergies, or anxiety but it is pretty annoying. She scratches her head, back, shoulders, stomach and has even been scratching until she bleeds. I haven't changed soaps, shampoos, or detergents so we are stumped.

Anara's newest accomplishments:
-saying "Hi"
-"holding a toy phone to her head and saying, "Hi"
-feeding her baby doll a bottle
-successfully placing puzzle pieces and matching with the shape sorter
-saying "Daddy" and sometimes "Mama"
-bathing without screaming
-she is starting to sit more and sometimes can sit for a short while unassisted
-hitting (She can be pretty aggressive, but I think she is testing her limits. She will smack me in the face and then make a sad face and hug me.)

Violet quotes: I am terrible at trying to write them the way she says them, and I am torn between my lame attempts at her pronounciation or just writing it in English.
-"I dopted her. I dopted dis baby. I got her from Kurgisan."
-"Can I have nother wapper for my owie? I need a wapper on it. (After Band-aid applied) Can me walk with dis banaid? Can me pay with dis banaid on? Can me read books with my banaid? Can me go to sleep with my bandaid?"
-I think Violet must have an advanced sense of humor because she has already started making poop jokes. One day in the car Violet said, "I smell like poop breath. (then she laughed to herself) and then went on and on "poop juice, poop gum, gum poop, poop breath....."
-Violet removed her baby's diaper and then announced, "My baby has an owie on her botton" I said, "Aw, how did your baby get an owie on her bottom?" Her reply, "From the ophanage."
-"Someone wants their little Bible Mama. Someone wants their little Bible. Someone wants their Bible. Mama it's Violet Mama, Violet wants her Bible." She was using this excuse to try and prolong the going to bed process. She yelled this for about 10 minutes one night.
-"Can my have some makeup Mama. Can me have some makeup my own makeup? Mama, I'm findin makeup for you, Mama. I'm findin some makeup for you." She was saying the last part as she was flipping through the pages of her Bible - I have no idea.

Anara presurgery

Anara trying to make a break for it

Anara taking a little break from trying to reset her IV

Violet enjoying Anara's hospital bed much more than Anara

Daddy and Naraboo

Violet's attempt at dressing herself. She was so proud.

My efforts at salvaging a disposable diaper that the tab ripped off

Anara hiding from Violet after biting her toes

Anara's 1st bath without tears

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Our Neighborhood in the News

Amanda has slowed down the rate of her posts lately, partly due to just being busy with the girls and partly because there hasn't been a lot new to post on. Anara is doing really well...we're just sitting around waiting for her surgery to be scheduled. Anyway, I thought I would take a second and add a post, mainly to comment on and link to a story recently featured on the cover of INTake, the Indianapolis Star's weekly "lifestyle and entertainment" publication.

The story is about our side of town and the work that is being done specifically in and around our neighborhood to revitalize the area. In addition to raising our kids, living where we live and trying to be involved in this work is something that continues to be important to us. I'd like to write some future posts to expound on why it's important, but for now, indulge me and take a few minutes to read this. The places described in the article are places we pass every single day. The Rivoli Theatre, mentioned in the first sentence, is at the end of our street and was one of the first things we noticed about the neighborhood when we bought our house. It is one of many places of significance with the potential to be something great again. But we're finding that change doesn't happen overnight, and it's through getting to know people like Joe Bowling, oft quoted in the article, that we're learning what small things can be done to eventually make an impact. Incidentally, Joe is the son of the pastor of the neighborhood church we recently started attending.

Anyway, if nothing else, this article was something positive about the eastside for a change.

Here are some of our own pictures taken of our house and of the neighborhood over the past few years:

Neighborhood Fellowship Church at the end of our street
(originally a German Lutheran church)

The Rivoli Theatre

Our House