Friday, June 29, 2007

Brady's Appointment with the Surgeon

We went yesterday to talk to the surgeon about Brady's palate. Of course the little stinker wouldn't open his mouth for the doctor to get a good look. When he is crying, you can usually get a really good look at it. I was holding him at one point as the doctor was explaining things to me and he starting crying. I quickly moved him into position and told the doctor he could get a good look now. Brady's fit came to an immediate halt and he clamped those lips shut. Gracious, I thought AnnaClaire was stubborn! This one has her beat by a mile. The doctor had gotten a good enough look to tell us that his cleft was wide. Actually, he didn't say it was wide, he said it was WWWIIIIIDDDEEEE. Sometimes after a palate repair, a hole called a fistula forms and then there has to be a second surgery to repair the fistula. The doctor said his palate was so wide that he could about guarantee that a fistula would form and that it would take two surgeries. He said this palate was going to be a hard one to repair. I feel so badly that Brady will have to endure all this but I know it is what has to be done. He'll have to wear splints on his arms for 3 weeks after each surgery to keep him from putting things in his mouth. Man, is he going to hate us for that! We go to the ENT on July 10 to see if he needs tubes in his ears and then the surgery will be scheduled. They said it would likely be late August. That's all we know right now. Oh yeah, the doctor did say that Brady's lip and nose look great (we think so too). Brady's pediatrician told me matter-of-factly that his nose was asymmetrical. BIG GIANT EYEROLL on that one.

love/hate relationship

This was yesterday...

this is today

This is my REALLY happy face. Sometimes mom isn't sure if I am really happy or really upset!

Have you ever seen anything cuter than this?
I am tired of sharing my mommy!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Little Rascals

Cutie Patooties

Do these shoes go with my diaper?

As a matter of fact, I AM painting my toenails

Painting AnnaClaire's toenails

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Lake

Love the hair!

Check out my boo boo

Stop taking my picture

Finally an update!

I know many people have been waiting for an update, so here it is:) I had stopped posting to the 'Journey to Me' site while in China because 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' and I was in such a state that I had run out of 'nice'. I thought we were prepared for anything that a toddler adoption would entail but it was much harder than I ever imagined. It was so bad in China that I was quite depressed. The first few weeks home I disconnected from the world and didn't answer the phone or even turn on the computer. It didn't help that I was sick most of the first 2 weeks back. Once we were on our own turf, we we able to start teaching Brady what was acceptable behavior and what wasn't. He caught on quickly. We would have a few good days and then a *really* bad one. The bad days sent me right back to my doom and gloom place and thinking life would never be 'normal' again. Slowly but surely things started to get better and now I can't even remember the last time Brady had an entire day that was bad or the last time he had a rage. Even the fits (the in the floor ones) are very rare these days. He's still as strong willed and hot tempered and definitely lets you know what he wants, but I am amazed at how far he has come in such a short time. He's starting to understand so much of what we say which blows our minds because we could never pick up Chinese this fast! His first English word was 'more' and it was, of course, regarding food (food issues account for about 75% or more of his fits). He's been to the lake a few times and to the doctor's office (he's gained 2 pounds since China!) and last week I decided it was time to attempt a public outing. He did very well. He and I went out again today and he would say his version of 'hi' to every person we passed at the grocery store and wave at them. If they didn't respond he would start screaming at them. He is a very loud child and with his cleft palate uses alot of grunting and other various noises. I am sure the other patrons at Kroger were thrilled to have him there. LOL He absolutely ADORES his daddy. We joke that Jeff is like a rock star because when he comes home, everything stops and Brady runs to him squealing. Brady and daddy rough house a lot which makes mommy nervous. Poor kid finds plenty of ways to injure himself without the extra help! When we were first home Brady really attached to his older brothers and actually preferred them to me but 'the brothers' went out of town Brady's second week home and he decided mom was okay. He loves playing with his sisters, especially AnnaClaire. They have gotten into quite a few messes together (and let me tell you that the boy is not afraid to wear a little makeup). He's very rough with her and we are constantly having to tell him to 'be soft'. If he wants a toy she has, she now hands it over. I think she discovered that she got praise for being good about sharing and now willingly gives him anything he wants so that we will tell her that was nice. We are going to have to work on that. I don't want her to be a pushover and I don't want him running over her...and he is definitely smart enough to figure out how to manipulate her. AnnaClaire has had a hard time adjusting to having Brady around and has done quite a bit of whining and crying. Lately I have noticed that they are playing together more and more and even caught them coming down the steps holding hands the other day but before you say 'ahhhh', I have to tell you that 2 days later he tried to push her down the same stairs and if she didn't have a death grip on the railing he would have been successful. Allie's had a bit of trouble too. At first she was having some 'accidents' but that seems to have gone away. She is having some meltdowns over things that I think are really not the issue as much as her adjustment to a new sibling. Even still, Brady can be wreaking havoc all around and Allie will look at me and say, 'I am so glad Brady's home'. And he is...home. Wild and crazy as it is around here, he's a part of us now. Sometimes he smiles at me and it just melts my heart, or he'll come running full force to give me a hug and about break my jaw with his head or knock me over backwards (did I mention he was rough?). Now if I could only teach him that mommy is way cooler than daddy...

I have to thank all those who called and emailed because you were worried about us. Your support really got us through. THANK YOU!

Friday, June 22, 2007

More Birthday Pics

MeeAll holds Brady for the first time.

The boys and their new Rubik's cubes, also part of MeeAll's 'No Child Left Behind' act.

Brady's crazy parents

Brady shares his cake with Aunt Yoyo.

AnnaClaire loves Brady's new rocker.

Grandpa and Mason

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Birthday Pics

Popaw's girl

Brady with Uncle Ronnie

Gifts for the girls. Part of MeeAll's 'No Child Left Behind' Act.

Grandma and Cousin Mason

Left handed just like Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Brady!

We'll have his party with cake and presents on Saturday, but we had cupcakes after dinner tonight to celebrate Brady's big day.