Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It is Finally Over!!!

Though, I never thought it would happen, the dissertation thing is finally over (well almost). John successfully defended his dissertation yesterday to the Geography Department at the University of Georgia. He is on the final leg of receiving his Ph.D. YAY!!!! He does have a few corrections to make, but those should take no time at all and will be done after we get to Pennsylvania-which is way too soon to think about.

Other news...
-Our Sunday School Class had a goodbye party for us at the lake. Our gift was a smile bought by them in Adalynn's name for the Smile Train Organization...what an awesome gift.
-Camden had his 4th birthday at Bear Hollow Zoo. My mom surprised all of us by making a 10 hour drive from Indiana for the party.
-Broderick was "bathimitized" (baptized) on Sunday. Praise the Lord!
-Adalynn is 100% better and finally taking enough steps consistently, that she may be deemed "a walker".
-We are picking up the moving truck tonight and starting to load the big things. It all feels so weird. We are thankful for our friends/Sunday School class who will be here to help.

I will try to post pictures later today. There is a lot to do today and packing is foremost on the list. No time for pictures right now.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Brief Hospital Stay...and I am OFFICIALLY a real mom :)

Adalynn had a brief stay in the hospital today after she began running an unexplained high fever. She woke up in the middle of the night extremely fussy and with a fairly high temperature. We gave her Motrin and she went back to sleep. When she woke up this morning she was still fussy and feverish, so I called the pediatrician and got her an appointment. I was really hoping that it was just an ear infection, but he couldn't find anything. Because of her history with urinary tract infections, he sent us to the hospital for a urine test. The put us in the Pediatric Outpatient Suites at St. Marys in Athens (which have just been re-done and are gorgeous). Of course the only way to do a urine test on a baby is by putting a catheter in. When that came back clear, he sent out for a complete blood panel. That also came back fine. So after spending the morning at the pediatricians office and the afternoon at the hospital, by early evening she was acting tons better.

So, to make a long story short...we are home with a semi-sick baby and no known explanation. We are celebrating Camden's birthday tomorrow, so wish us luck that all goes well and whatever is bothering Adalynn is short-lived.

On another note, the second part of the title relates to my new status as a "real" mom. After being teased for most of the school year by one of the younger male teachers about being "30 with 3 kids"---like it was a crazy thing, I am now "30 with 3 kids AND a mini-van". Oh my!!!! John and I traded the Trailblazer in for a Nissan Quest. We love it! The boys are able to walk straight to their seats in the back row without climbing over seats or folding anything down. It is awesome. So it is official, I am now a "REAL" mom and despite promising myself 10 years ago that I would NEVER drive a mini-van, I can honestly say that I love it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A day late....

I can't believe it has been 4 years since he was born. That means we have lived in Georgia for almost 4 years. Crazy how time flies! And now a new chapter of our lives will begin in Pennsylvania in less than 2 weeks. Hard to believe.

HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY to our little man


Friday, July 18, 2008

Did You Know That We're Moving????

Things have been just a tad bit on the crazy/busy side. Sorry for the delay in the update.

The dentist appointment went well. Adalynn was seen by the Speech Team to assess her current speech progress and they were very pleased with her vocabulary. Of course, Adalynn had more fun showing off her ability to drop things, smile and point and wait for the nearest adult to join "the game"-as the boys call it. The hygienist cleaned her teeth and noted that the tooth on top that is a little behind the others had a little bit of build up on it, but other than that things looked good. The dentist said the same thing. Tooth #7 is finally coming in, so she has been a tad fussy, but LOVES her new battery operated tooth brush from the visit. The boys went with us and did a fantastic job in the waiting room with daddy while Adalynn was being seen

We have been very busy since we've been back. Getting things canceled here and activated in PA has been a pain. We are still trying to figure out the Internet situation. We may be stuck with dial-up for a year while we rent (which is VERY scary)...but we'll do what we have to do. We have gone swimming a couple of times with our good friends the Taddas and have been packing, packing, and packing some more. We also had a major yard sale today and will continue tomorrow hopefully selling more of our junk, oops...stuff, I mean. We also went to Six Flags this week and had a blast. An AWESOME family from school kept Adalynn for us and we are very blessed to have them in our lives. I've mentioned Ryan, their son, several times. Continue to pray for him (he just had brain surgery and will start radiation soon). And a HUGE thank you to Missy for keeping Adalynn. Missy---I still can't believe you really wanted to do it and I know what you did with the card :(!!!

Other great news this week, is that Broderick accepted Christ. He did this last Sunday night at home. We are so proud and excited for him. The Wiki song from Outrigger Island VBS led him through the process. He will be presented to the church this Sunday and will be baptized next. We had to move very quickly since we are moving in less than 2 weeks and he was pretty adamant about being baptized in HIS church. We bought him a new bible and ordered a book called "What is a Bathtub Doing in My Church". It is adorable. We also went to the local Lifeway store and found the VBS C.D. I know I have heard at least 20 times in the past 5 days.

Here are pictures from last Sunday before church. John's mom made Adalynn's dress for her last winter and she is just now big enough to wear it. It is still a little big, but almost too short. She is getting more and more beautiful each day. Don't you think?

Well, continue to pray for us as we pack and prepare to move 600 miles away. The next few weeks will be crazy to say the least.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Got Milk?????...or bottles to hold milk, that is.

Great news...Adalynn is only taking one bottle a day now. Yay!!!! I've never had to wean a baby from the bottle, so this is a whole new experience. So far, so good. I think this last bottle (she takes it right before bed) is going to be the hardest. Of course, at the dentist appointment today, they said this was definitely the one that can be the worst for her teeth (I'll post more about the dentist appointment tomorrow...with pictures!)

Well, needless to say, I no longer need the cabinet full of Haberman bottles that I have acquired and I definitely don't want to move them. These special bottles run about $30/each so they are quite expensive. I have met several ladies on the I-Village Cleft Lip/Palate message board I visit often and they shared with me several months ago, so it is my turn to return the favor. If you are interested, please let me know.

I really want to return the favor and "Pass it On" so to speak. Having enough Haberman bottles to make it through a whole dishwasher cycle has been a God-send...I don't know how we survived the first few months with only 2 bottles. So a huge thank you to those that shared with me and I can't wait to do the same for another cleft family. This is a large box with 15-20+/-bottles/nipples/collars/disks. There is also a box of Medela sterilizing bags. I hope someone can benefit...please let me know!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I am sooooooo MAD!!!!!

I don't think I have ever been as hurt or mad as I am right now concerning something cleft related...even the horrible confrontation in Wal-Mart right after Adalynn was born, doesn't even compare to something that the Sears Photo Studio has done to me/my baby girl.

I had Adalynn's portraits taken several months ago. I shared the link on here and several of you saw them. Well, when they were printed, the coloring was really off and although Adalynn had a white shirt on, it appeared pink in the prints. Her lips were so red it looked like she had lipstick on. I took them back and complained and they reprinted them. Well, I got the reprints back and briefly looked at them and the coloring was better. With the hustle and bustle of the end of the school year, our house hunting/family visiting trip to PA and then to IN and with moving, I just now have had time to sit down and start cutting them and dividing them up to pass out to family (in moving announcements)....yes, the announcement is coming soon.

Well, as I cut them and looked more closely at them I thought to myself, wow...you can hardly see her scar. Then it hit me...THEY RETOUCHED THE PHOTO and REMOVED the scar. I was so mad. I started to second guess myself thinking no one in their right mind would do that without consulting with the family, so I showed my John. He at first thought the same thing. We finally got online and compared the prints with the proofs on line and guess what...you can SEE the scar in the proofs online, but you can't see it at all in the reprints.

I called Sears today, and according to my husband I was too nice. I just explained how upset I was and told them I hate that they are now reprinting the photos for the 3rd time. I also told him I don't think I will ever use them/recommend them again for photos and asked what they were going to do to make it right. He said, he couldn't do anything and that I needed to talk to the manager at the studio. I plan on going in tomorrow night...I just hate being mean and ugly, but I know I need to be. UGH!!!

John says he wants free photos for life...or at least a VERY long time.

I know that there is nothing they can do to really make this right. Her scar is something we are proud of...kind of like a story of the road she has been on. NO ONE has the right to take that away from her or from us and definitely not in a photo that will be on display in our home or anyone elses.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

To Clear Up Some Confusion....

Just wanted to clear up some confusion....I WISH we were moving closer to family, but we are definitely not. We currently live in Georgia and have been for the past 4 years. I moved to Georgia after living my entire life in Indiana. Indiana is "home". All of our family is there-in Indiana. We are moving to Eastern Pennsylvania at the end of this month. We are currently about 9 hours from "home" (Indiana) and moving to PA will still be about 9 hours from Indiana. Oh how I wish we were closer to some family, but were not....maybe one of these days.

On our excursion, we left GA to go to PA to search for housing. After that we went to IN and visited with family. The kids and I stayed for 1 1/2 weeks and then flew back to GA. Sorry, I was confusing in the first post. I hope this makes more sense.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I'm Finally Home

Well, after 2 1/2 weeks of being gone, we finally made it home. I am so glad to be back in Georgia. We loved visiting everyone in Indiana, but home is home. We left Pennsylvania on Thursday after looking for a place to live all week. We still hadn't finalized anything, but our choice had been made and we were just waiting to here from the Realtor. We stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania and went to Chocolate World. We didn't have time to visit Hershey Park, but I am sure we will since we will only be about an hour away. The boys loved the tour and getting to try chocolate. Adalynn was very excited about her first chocolate milk shake. We ate lunch there and then got back on the road. We drove for several more hours and finally stopped just inside the Ohio state line. We spent another night at a hotel (with a pool, of course) and then started out early the next morning for Indiana. We finally made it to John's parents house that afternoon.

The Golden Bear and fountain outside of Daddy's new office @Kutztown University.

At Chocolate World

swimming at the hotel in Pennsylvania

The next day, we had another birthday party for Adalynn. Everyone was so excited to see her/us and everyone commented on how beautiful she was. She was very tired and a bit upset after touching her candle-it was lit-but still did great. She loved her bracelet from Aunt Barb and loved waving her wrist around showing it off. It was priceless. John's mom ordered the cake from Wal-Mart and they put her invitation on the cake. My mom got all the decorations and everything matched wonderfully-including Adalynn's dress and Bumbo seat. My sister helped with snacks and everything came together great. John and I are very grateful for all of their help.

Adalynn showing off her bracelet.

John left on Sunday for Georgia and spent a week and a half working 12+ hour days on his dissertation. The kids and I stayed in Indiana (sleeping somewhere new every few days) for the next 10 days. We enjoyed spending time with all of our family and despite some drama here and there, we had a great time. Broderick and Camden had a blast with all the kids and Adalynn was showing everyone how sweet she is. It was a memorable visit. A visit to the zoo with John's mom, Brandon, Uncle Nick and Haley, the Art Museum with my mom and sister, Bouncertown with Haley and Landon, shooting fireworks with Uncle Josh, swimming at Josh's house, sewing with Jessica, eating dinner with Great Grandma Frye, bathing in Great Grandma/Grandpa Fines' sink, Adalynn seeing my dad (aka Papa Hair Face) were some memorable experiences on our trip.

Broderick navigating with the Zoo Map.
Camden checking out the zebras.
Adalynn talking to the rhino..."here doggie, doggie"

The boys watching the Rhino with cousin Haley.

with cousin Brandon

Adalynn with my mom

Adalynn with my dad...aka Papa Hair Face

The kids with my dad

The kids (and my nephew Landon) with my mom

with my grandparents

with John's grandma

Adalynn with John's mom

Adalynn with John's dad

the boys and Landon with Uncle Josh, shooting off fireworks

the boys with my cousin's son, Dylan

sleeping together....best buddies!!!

We flew home on the 1st of July. Yes, I flew with 3 kids. No, I am not nuts. Yes, I still have all my hair. The kids did great! Someone on the plane even commented that they didn't know there were three kids in the seats in front of them. After one stinky diaper (and a very tiny bathroom to change it in) Adalynn fell asleep. Broderick and Camden loved their snacks and looking out the window at the clouds. Before taking off though, as we were taxiing down the runway, Camden was very confused. He looked out the window and said "Mommy are we flying to Georgia?" I responded "Yes" and then he said "then why are we rolling"....too cute.

Sooooo EXCITED!!!!

the boys on the plane

All in all, we had fun, but we are glad to be home. Now, the real fun begins. PACKING!!!! We finally got a confirmation on our home. I have included a picture. I will post contact information in another post another day. Thanks for checking in on us.

OUR NEW HOME!!! Well, for the next year...