Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Wonder Woman and Batman! Wonder Woman didn't have school today or yesterday because of teacher meetings. Grace and William have been in character since about noon today. We have a fun afternoon and early evening ahead with a neighborhood Halloween party and Trick-or-Treating with friends. Have a Happy and safe one!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Random stuff on a Wednesday

~ I have been getting verklempt about anything and everything...a song I hear, reading blogs(certainly not all of them), but there are some folks out there going through very tough times right now.... hey I'll cry just thinking about how much I love my children. Must be my peri-menopausal body. I can imagine what it will be like for me when I do go through menopause.
~ I have officially started my Christmas shopping. Got a ways to go.
~ I still don't really 'get' Facebook and don't know if I ever will.
~ The Halloween candy in the pantry calls my name every single day. It says, "Gail...I'm here....waiting for you to come over and check me out." Ugh.
~ William wears his Halloween costume now all the time, he has 2. Batman and Spiderman. Not sure which one he'll be on Halloween. Also not sure if he'll go trick-or-treating, might be too much for him and that's okay.
~ I'll be happy when this presidential election is's getting ugly and I'm so tired of it all.
~ Dan and I think that William has "Fred Flintstone feet." They are about as wide as they are long, little squares almost in shape. Extremely cute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin time!

Grace helping dad clean out her pumpkin.

Being very careful with the knife.

Her finished creation. (done with a pattern)

Dan, Grace and little Batman(Will).

Yep, it's almost that time. Halloween is Friday. Dan was home this afternoon and while William was taking a nap we did our annual pre-Halloween ritual of the carving of the pumpkins. Grace has been anxiously waiting to do this since we picked the pumpkins over a week ago. She helped clean them all out and even carved her own with some help. William woke up right as we were carving his so he got to see some of the process too. It was better not to have a 2 year old 'assist' with his own pumpkin. A 2 year old wielding a knife probably isn't a good thing. ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Great news!

Our adorable little boy...

William's cleft team appointments went well yesterday. It was a long day and the boy was tired by the end of it but Will pretty much charmed everyone with his outgoing personality and sense of humor. We were told by the surgeon that William's palate 'looks great!', and he'll need no immediate surgery for now. At a later date, like when he's around 4 and a half to 5 we may consider some cosmetic surgery for his nose as it's tipped downward a bit. It's hard to see in photos and if we decide to do that the surgeon may also decrease some of the extra tissue under his upper lip at that time. He will require a surgery around age 7 to widen his palate (which is typical of cleft affected kids). He had an initial eval of speech and the therapist was very pleased with his language, how many words he says and the number of words he uses in a sentence. He has a few articulation issues that could be addressed. He doesn't have much of a nasal quality to his speech. For now we'll have him screened for speech through our school district and if he qualifies he'll start then. If he doesn't qualify we will have him get private speech therapy. The psychologist felt that William was doing quite well as far as attachment for only being home with us 3 months. We return to the team again in 6 months and that's how it'll continue. We're so thankful about the results and ever grateful for the thoughts and prayers for William.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday (guess it's Thursday)

This is my favorite pic probably from 10 days ago when we had a warm day and took Grace and Will to a park. They play together so well, quite honestly, amazingly well. It's almost like Will has a little crush on his Jie Jie. He follows her everywhere. She is patient with him(most of the time) and teaches him things and can get him laughing. They are always up to something whether it's dancing (Grace wearing her Mulan dress) with William as her dance partner. Will even plays Barbie's with Grace, he usually puts Ken (no clothes on) in the Barbie car and Ken goes for a drive. I have some pics of the 2 of them dancing that I'll post next week.

Tomorrow bright and early right after Grace goes to school, Dan, William and I have an appointment with the cleft team at University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital. It will be the first time William meets the team of his surgeon Dr. DeLora Mount, a Pediatric Dentist, an ENT physician, a speech therapist and a psychologist. They will do panoramic films of his mouth, evaluate his palate and lip repair that was done in China, talk to us about his speech, swallowing, and any oral issues, examine his ears and just see how he's doing all around as far as adjusting to our family. I have a packet of paperwork that has been filled out and we are ready for the day. I do have several questions to ask and am anxious to see what their evals show. The team will develop a treatment plan and recommendations for William. I'm hoping and praying his palate is okay and he won't require another surgery for a while. It should be interesting and I have a bag of stuff to take for entertainment when he's bored. And I'll say it a little early...have a great Friday and weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall comes inside our house

Fall isn't just outside, we bring it inside too. I'm not sure what Will thinks of all this stuff as it's his first Fall with a real change of season. I know he does notice when it's cool or cold outside and he says so to me. He likes to put his jacket on, not socks so much. He also loves the jack-o-lantern that's in our front hallway area. Hmm...wonder what he'll think of Halloween? I'm quite sure he'll like the candy part of it. ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall in southern Wisconsin

Today we took a little roadtrip north of Madison to a pumpkin farm.

Will fed a goat....
....and of course took time to run, climb and play while we were there.

Miss Grace sat on an old piece of farm equipment and 'drove' it...

...and snuggled with mommy.

Finally, we got on a horse drawn wagon.

William loved the horses and the bumpy road we took...

out to the pumpkins.

This one was Grace's favorite. Will picked out a teeny tiny one.

Here she's claiming her pumpkin by sitting on it. I think she looks like she's hatching an egg.

After we picked our 4 pumpkins, we got back on the wagon and to the farm. Will fell asleep on my lap. It was a beautiful, crisp Autumn day, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect one. The colors of the leaves are peaking and 6 months of winter will be here soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

3 months

3 months ago tomorrow in Fuzhou City in Fujian Province, China we met William Michael for the first time. You can look here and read about that day. I didn't go into all the gory details when I wrote about his placement because it wasn't 'pretty' or calm or uneventful. It was traumatic and he was one sad, angry and scared little boy. William had every reason to feel that way after he left the only family he'd ever known for most of his 2.5 years. His foster family loved him deeply and William loved them just as much. It was quite evident by how hard he grieved. We have come very far in 3 months and I have to say the gains have been hard fought for. As I write this, Grace and William are happily playing and laughing in the living room. There were many days that I didn't think I'd see that. We still have great highs and some lows(but not nearly so many of them). William knows the love of a forever family with a mommy and daddy, a big sister and big brother. We are not perfect parents, we make mistakes and learn from them, but we are patient people and keep on trying always. If you can't already tell from the pictures of him on my blog, William is quite precocious, full of energy and mischief, and can light up a room with his smile and infectious laugh. He is a 'character' and is such a part of our family now. We are very blessed to be his parents.

Thursday, October 16, 2008're it!

I've been tagged by my friend Karen(mom to beautiful little Maggie), who I met in our December DTC 06 group. I'm supposed to list 7 random/weird/interesting facts about myself. Well believe me there are plenty of weird facts about me...just ask Dan and I'm sure he'd be happy to tell you a few. So here are my 7, or at least 7 I'll confess to.

1. I love, love, love to eat olives. Green olives, black olives, I crave them at times. My favorites are these really decadant green olives stuffed with blue cheese. That might sound gross to some people I suppose.

2. I get wicked bad headaches from perfume. I can only tolerate one that won't give me a headache and it's called 'Amazing Grace' and it's made by Philosophy.

3. I'm not exactly a domestic diva and though I like a clean house it's a chore I detest and am very fortunate to have a cleaning service come every 2 weeks. Hey, I'd just be happy if our bathrooms and floors were cleaned now and then. I do like to do laundry and especially fold it. Weird.

4. I worked as a Registered Nurse for over 17 years and have attended hundreds of deliveries of babies and resuscitated many a baby too. I worked in NICU's and PICU's. I also did helicopter transports of very sick infants when I lived in North Carolina. It was incredibly rewarding and stressful work and a true calling for me at one time of my life.

5. I very suddenly became a single mom in my mid 20's to my 10 month old infant son when my ex husband decided he was done being married(that's another story that I'd rather not talk about presently). I was a single mom until my son Nick was 4 years old. Then I married Dan. ;)

6. My maternal Great Grandfather was the mayor of Chicago.

7. As a child was identified as being gifted in art. I have taken many classes through school and private instruction. Though I loved art and seriously considered getting a degree in it, I also loved science and went to college initially to become a pharmacist and then switched to nursing. Go figure that one. I do still love to draw.

Now I'm supposed to tag 7 people, but since this is going around a lot right now let's just say you're tagged if you'd like to do this fun little meme. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 13, 2008

Apple orchard

Yesterday we went to an apple orchard just south of Madison. It was a perfect day though a little hot for this time of year. Grace and Will loved finding apples, picking them and of course eating some too! Now I have to get busy and figure out what to do with all the apples we picked (we went a little crazy). ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To me when I read or say this verse outloud I think of the many seasons in my own life, but for some reason right now I think of all parents who wait for their children. Whether you are waiting for the first time, second or 6th, the wait for a child is agonizing. The wait to adopt from China has slowed to a crawl. I do get comfort from the fact that China is still matching babies to families and moving ahead though it is painfully and horribly slow. My heart is always with my friends and all those who wait, I believe very deeply your time or season will come. Someday (though I know it seems far away) this wait will be a distant memory, and a memory that will quickly leave the moment you see your child's face for the first time. The wait that you've all endured won't be any less but the child you've waited for will be worth it. Every day. Every minute. My prayers are with all of you that wait and especially for the children who wait for their forever families.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Fotos

He runs to the pantry where I keep the swiffer and pretends to clean. Go little dude!
Miss Grace.

Will in our upstairs hallway, he was so proud of himself wearing a princess crown of Grace's.

Daddy and his little boy.

Some recent pictures that I love! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy weekend

William under bubble in the big water table.
One of the Daddys(Steve) with some of the girls. I love this!

We had a busy and very fun weekend. Friday we were invited to our Waiting Families group with our agency and were asked to be the 'featured guests'. They met Will for the first time, he went around the room and introduced himself to everyone. It was very cute! I had no idea what he'd do in that setting but he did great. Dan played with the 2 kids while I spoke about Will's transition to our family, attachment and our trip this time to China. I got asked some great questions and could have spoken for hours. I didn't sugar coat it, was honest about the first few weeks with him and even though it's hard at times for everyone, it's worth every single challenge. The group couldn't believe he's only been home with us 2 months and sometimes I can't either.
Saturday we had pictures taken of Grace and William and played at a new playground.
Sunday we took a little roadtrip to the Chicago area and met Grace's travel group at the Dupage Children's Museum. Originally we were going to the Brookfield zoo but because of rain, plan B was the museum. Our dear friends met William for the first time, many of the 11 families were there...mostly girls besides William and another William from Grace's group. We get together with these families probably 4-5 times a year and we all pick up where we left off. The kids adore each other. Will loved the giant water table, wind tunnel and playing with his new friends. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday(taken in China)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Daddy's home!

Looks like Mr. Goat is going to take a bite out of Will's cookie.
Petting a cow.

Daddy's home! These 2 dearly love their Daddy.

Dr. Dan is one busy man in his professional life. He travels a great deal with his work to some amazing places and I wish I could accompany him but it's just not feasible at this time of our lives with 2 young children. When he's home he helps me all the time. I'm very fortunate. Anyway Dan has lots of vacation time accrued and needed to use some of it or he'd lose it by the end of the year, so he's been home with us for the last 2 weeks! What have we done? He's spent lots of time with William while Grace was at school, giving me some respite. Together we've taken him to a petting zoo, the Children's museum in Madison, a tumbling class and a sports class that Will attends. It's just been awesome to have him home with us and great for William and Dan to bond and attach. Also gives mommy some alone time to recharge her batteries. Mom's do need that now and then don't we? :)
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