Monday, April 30, 2012

And the sleep results are...

Our girls are rock stars, I tell ya!

Both came in with flying colors on their sleep study results.  No apnea, no issues or any cause for concern.

As Dariya was so tired she spent a little more than usual time in the deepest sleep stage (where you see sleep talking and walking etc)  however, this is when she was banging her head.  I always wondered if she was awake during these episodes. Nope not even close, sound asleep.  At home she has stopped banging her head nightly but we still hear it on occasion.  However, that night in the sleep lab she seemed to bang all night long.  They recorded that she was asleep all but 24 minutes that whole night.  Wow I think I only slept those 24 minutes.  The doctor wasn't concerned about it but, did have a neurologist look at the video of Dariya just for a second opinion that no seizures were going on.

Thankfully she has gone back to not banging here at home.  We switched Dariya back to the crib and put Alayna in the big girl bed and we have two very happy girls when bedtime comes.  Dariya just wasn't ready to give up the crib like we thought she was, she went a few weeks in the bed but then spent most of the time on the floor sleeping.   She is comfortable in the crib and Alayna LOVES being the big girl!

Alayna spent more time awake during her study than Dariya and sat up in bed quite a bit that night.  She had some sinus drainage and a slight cough that night so with the nasal monitor we think she was having a hard time adjusting to breathing.  However, her results were fabulous too which is great news especially in light of her runny nose.

Best news of all is that unless the girls have any sleep issues that arise over the years we never have to do this again!  That makes for one happy mama!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't miss the small stuff

Dariya is amazing and wonderful!  If you have followed our journey you know how seamlessly she has melted into our family.

However,  I will be the first to say that adoption isn't a total cake walk (although Dariya makes it to be most of the time).  We have our moments and struggles.

Many orphans have come home in much worse physical, mental and spiritual health than Dariya did and for that we are blessed.

However, when Dariya gorged herself until she looked 9 months pregnant at the Ukrainian buffet in Kiev it was our first inkling that our little darling didn't always get enough food or the right kind of food.

When we arrived home the first thing she would say/sign to me was eat when I got her up every morning.  She was very impatient for the first week if she had to wait on her food even a few minutes.   We heard her Tasmanian devil growl anytime food was being prepared.

When we were anywhere people were eating she would go on a "seek and destroy" mission to find the food and see who she could convince to feed her, even if she was stuffed.  I am sure our friends & church family thought we were nuts when we politely said PLEASE DON'T FEED HER!
Enjoying a yogurt with daddy while in Ukraine July 2011
It has come with little intervention from us (eradicating H Pylori for her helped) but, it is a milestone and one that I am very happy for her to have met.

In the past few weeks, Dariya has gotten up in the morning and NOT requested food!!!   In fact, she hasn't even come into the kitchen but instead requested that I rock her and read a book to her or gone straight for the toys and started playing.  Several mornings she has played while the rest of us ate breakfast, even when I would call her two or three times she would say no (not in a sassy way but rather letting me know she wasn't hungry).  She also isn't requesting a snack and isn't horrified when I tell her no more snack like she was just months ago.
Rocking her straw hierarchy!
This is HUGE, although some might think this is small stuff!

We are very thankful that she finally feels comfortable enough with the family and the food situation to relax and know that when she does get hungry there will be something to eat that she doesn't have to obsess about it.  She is still my best, least picky eater in the house!

And while I am bragging, I will throw in how well she is doing on the straw therapy!  Seriously, look at that pucker she has going!  When we started in November she was still drinking with her tongue out.  She has come so far in such a short time!

What a beautiful flower, it is so amazing to watch each new petal open!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy birthday Aidan!!!!

you are amazing and we couldn't imagine life without you.
God has given you so many strengths, talents and insights.  
We pray that you use them to the best of your ability.

Time seems to be going faster and faster and I just wish I could slow it down, if only a little.  
I know way too soon days, months and years will pass 
and these sweet early years will be a thing of the past.

I am thankful that you haven't gotten too old to cuddle at night before bed or kiss me goodbye before heading off to school (even if you do have to do it quick before anyone sees).

May today bring you all the blessings that God intends for you to have.
May you openly and faithfully follow His call in your life wherever that may take you.
And may you know how much we truly love you!

Happy 9th birthday sweet boy!

Aidan chose to celebrate his special day by taking his best buddy, Avery with us for a day at the zoo.

Hanging out with the lowland gorillas!

Feeding the Lorikeets

Sweet sisters watching the sea lion show.

Down under with the kangaroos

It wouldn't be a birthday without his favorite sprinkle cake!
We had a fantastic day celebrating our boy.  The boys had a great day and the girls both enjoyed their first zoo trip.  The girls were so worn out because of no nap day that they were both asleep by 6:30 allowing us to have a fun movie night with our big 9 year old.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Love Brings You Home: Dreams, redux.

One of the hardest parts of adoption for us was gotcha day.  We had such a huge range of emotions running through us that day.  Joyful that we have our girl, thankful for the groupa leaders who loved her so much and took such good care of her, overwhelmed by the people that helped us get to that day, blessed to have met her birth father and have open communication with him, but SO very sad to see all the children that we had to leave behind.

I have blogged about the children in Dariya's orphanage and thankfully all but 2 from Reece's Rainbow have been adopted or have a family coming for them this summer.  Jewell and Noah both have CP and are still waiting for their families.

This Sunday is a special day, it is Aidan's 9th birthday and my sweet friend Kelly Dirkes' birthday.  Kyle and Kelly just last month brought Charlotte home (the very first little girl that drew me in to Reece's Rainbow).  Kelly's birthday wish is for the last little girl with special needs from Charlotte's' groupa find a family.
Please take a moment to read her post about Kacey in hopes of finding her forever family.

Love Brings You Home: Dreams, redux.: She begins her daily walk toward me, uneven and slightly halting, as soon as she sees the groupa room door open. Before long, her ar...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who needs a bed?

Alayna had her usual nap this afternoon, then decided to come out of her room and sleep on the landing.
Who needs a bed anyway?
Happy napping wherever you may land!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Operation Underpants update

In December, Dariya had already come a long way in potty training from her days in Ukraine of not wanting to sit on the potty to asking to go.  So we embarked on operation underpants take 2!

Dariya has had some success with wearing panties and keeping them dry. But, it has been here and there.   Admittedly, I haven't always put her in panties while at home so part of her slow down I will take the blame for.   She had a stage here in the last few weeks of not telling me or her teachers when she needed to use the toilet like she was doing.

She still LOVES my crazy potty song we sing and celebrate with every single time she uses the toilet.

However, she didn't magically love her underwear and want to keep them dry all the time like her siblings.  Both Aidan and Alayna went straight to underpants and never looked back. 

She is wearing pull ups during the daytime, especially when we are out of the house for preschool, church or errands.  She is usually going the whole morning without any accidents but, still has to be reminded to use the restroom.

I am a "slow and steady" wins the race kinda mom when it comes to potty training.   So we march on and know that one day soon she will be wearing big girl panties all the time and on that day we will celebrate with her and until then we know that life is just perfect as it is, no need to rush!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sleep study review: Rock Star!

We showed up for Alayna's sleep study and were blessed to have, Jenny the same tech that had Dariya last week.  She had goldfish crackers and cookies waiting for Alayna (and some to bring home to Aidan and Dariya).  Talk about spoiled!
We also were blessed with another tech not having a patient until 9pm so both worked quickly to get the probes attached in no time.  Alayna was a ROCK STAR for the setup.  She sweetly sat in the crib and watched Signing Time, ate her goldfish and entertained the two techs and the family service person (who was supposed to be there to entertain her if needed.)  The family service gal said, "WOW Alayna you made my job easy tonight!"

When she had all her gear on (and looked like she had been in a car accident) she happily smiled for the camera and then quickly went to sleep with just a short rock with me...
She slept well from 9 to about 2:30 then didn't sleep well after that.  She sat up and fell asleep numerous times.  Jenny had to come in and reattach some wires once and Alayna got tangled in the wire mess another time.  However, there was no coaxing her into laying down to sleep in the early morning hours, which she NEVER sleeps sitting up.
Thankfully Jenny said they got a good study on her and everything looked good.

Needless to say this sweet little pumpkin didn't make preschool today.
After arriving home around 8am and getting the rest of the crew off to school and work we had a leisurely breakfast and then it took me 45 minutes to get all the sticky stuff out of her hair.
We picked up Dariya after preschool (Alayna had to have at least a glimpse of her Ms. Juanita) had a quick lunch and I think she was asleep before I walked out of her room for her nap.
After Dariya's sleep study and food poisoning last week and Alayna's sleep study and strep this week I will be hiding under a rock for a few days to make sure I don't catch any other bugs that might have happened this way for next week!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sleep study take 2

Miss Glamorous here has her sleep study tonight.

Dariya and I have been under the weather with strep but thankful for antibiotics are feeling better.  

Please pray that Alayna does even better than Dariya did with all the attaching of the wires and probes and leaving them alone that we both are able to have a restful sleep.  

P.S.  Watch out Ms. Juanita her hair will not be looking this cute when she comes to school tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alayna sings her sister's favorite song

Dariya's top song is still Jesus loves me.  Alayna loves to sign it for her.    Enjoy!

Dariya had her 6 month follow up at the ophthalmologist and what do you know?  Her eyes look healthy but, have gotten much worse!  Like 2 diopters in one eye and one in the other.  Back to the drawing board with new lenses coming right up.  Too bad insurance only covers one pair a year!  Ugh.

Aidan asked Dr. Plummer, "So are you telling me she is going to be blind one day if this keeps up?"  Bless him.   Dr. Plummer was quick on her feet and told him Dariya would always need correctable lenses but, that she would not be blind.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter in pictures

We hope that you had a blessed Easter!

Our weekend was filled with to the rim with family, fun and celebration of the 
death and resurrection of our Savior.  
Good Friday service on Friday evening, our church's community Easter celebration (play, egg hunt and lunch) then Easter service today.  
Makes for good nap times for two girls I know;).

Dariya loved hunting eggs. After she put a few in her basket she was picking them up and putting them in other kids baskets.  Sweet girl!

Alayna was into egg hunting for about 5 eggs then she was done.

Both girls LOVED dying eggs this year.
They were so careful to not even drop an egg.

Dariya was so excited to see the eggs turn colors.
Here she is signing and saying "Yellow"

Even my big boy still loves dying eggs.

Thanks Aidan for looking at the camera and smiling,
maybe next year I will get one with all  3 of them doing so.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sleep study review: Who slept?

Thank you for all the encouragement and prayers.  Dariya did much better than I thought she would.  We booked the earliest time to check in at 6:45pm knowing that it took over an hour to attach all the wires and probes.  Without a nap I knew my girlie would be SO ready for bed.

We were checked in around 7:30 and they gave us a couple minutes to settle in before starting to attach all the wires.  Dariya won them over in seconds with her sweet personality, they couldn't stop oohing and ahhing over her.
Thankfully another family was a no show so we were blessed with two sweet techs that moved at lightening speed to get her all set up.  Of course, lightening speed with all this wiring is still about 45 minutes.   Dariya watched Signing Time for a while and played on the iPad which entertained her for the most part.  She did have a couple good screaming fits asking to go to bed.

About 9 we were ready way past ready for bed.  Thankfully she allowed me to rock her to sleep, which was the first time EVER!

She slept all night and left all her wires alone, although she had numerous times where she drifted awake and banged her head to get back to sleep.  So needless to say, Dariya got WAY more sleep than I did last night.

I will definitely take the advice of others and allow Alayna to nap next week before her sleep study.  I understand they want them to be tired so they go right to sleep but, overtired doesn't look good on any of us.  ;)

We hope you have a blessed Good Friday!

Please don't forget about the Fristoe's iPad 2 giveaway that ends at midnight:  They have a matching grant of $1500 they can earn if they raise the remaining $555 by midnight!
Please pray, share and help them out.  Only a $5 tax deductible donation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Death of Jesus  Matthew 27

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[j] lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”[k]
47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”[l]
50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
54 The Roman officer[m] and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

We remember His death and we celebrate His resurrection with joy!
Thank you Jesus for giving your life for us!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

To sleep or not to sleep: Sleep study

At our down syndrome clinic visit last fall it was recommended that all children with ds have a sleep study completed to check for apnea.  As it wasn't an emergency with either of the girls we waited until spring when hopefully no germs will be around the hospital.

Tonight will be Dariya's study.  We check in at 6:45pm for about an hour of probe attaching which I KNOW she is going to absolutely love (she says sarcastically).  Then hopefully she won't be freaked out too much as to not sleep for them.  The study lasts until 7am or whenever she wakes up, whichever is earlier.

She can't have a nap the day of the study so please pray for sweet Dariya.  Unknown people touching her especially in her sleep deprived state I fear is going to bring on a full blown drama episode.  Pray that she is calm and allows the process to happen easily and that she goes right to sleep and they get great results from her study.

Pray for me too as I have to rinse and repeat the same process next Thursday night with Alayna (although I think she will be the easier of the two).  

Please don't forget about the Fristoe's iPad 2 giveaway that ends tomorrow:  They have a matching grant of $1500 they can earn if they raise the remaining $830 by midnight tomorrow!!
  Please pray, share and help them out.  Only a $5 tax deductible donation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Soaking in the sun: Weekend in pictures & a challenge

A fabulously warm weekend drew us out on walks, to take in several parks, a picnic and to enjoy family time.
Pretty, pretty Alayna

Aidan keeps the girls entertained with his super underdog skills.

Their PT is gonna love this one.  Bear races at the park. Alayna's idea.

Life is always better with your sister by your side.
So much sweetness!
Weekends don't get much better!

Picnics are awesome, especially when daddy surprises us with ice cream

I ♥ ice cream!  Yep she fits right in!
No luck on fishing but it was fun to watch him.
The Fristoe's have a generous donor who will give them $1500 IF they can raise the other $1500 this week via their iPad 2 giveaway.
PLEASE help sweet Clare come home and if you have a blog, FB or twitter please share this challenge!  You also get bonus entries if you share.
 Their iPad 2 giveaway ends this Friday.  Only $5 , tax deductible donation to enter!!!