Friday, November 30, 2012

Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like Head Lice…

That’s right the Williamson’s were ceremonially “unclean” over the recent holidays and truth be told I’m still unsure about Eden even now…and I’ve medicated her head THREE TIMES!!! After the initial shock was over the most daunting part of the process was the laundry. The sheer volume was unbelievable! The amount of bedding we lie around in shocked even me…blankets, lovies, sleeping bags, sheets, comforters, pillow pets, pillow cases not to mention all the clothing. Our hot water heater had to take a break in the middle of the day.


The other thing I’d like to mention is that all lice treatments are not the same. Just ask Noah and Eric. I had a lice treatment kit already in the house for some reason and it required you to leave on the medication for 4 hours and you had to bag your head. Noah thought this was cool for the first 15 minutes. God love the kid he wore the bag for 4 hours. His father decided to use the same treatment but we didn’t have an additional cap for him to use so he improvised…I’m so proud. (sarcasm)


Thank you Target and a clothes pin for making this memory happen.  The treatments I found for the girls and myself were leave in for 10 minutes, comb though and wash out. All in all I think we are bug free. I’ll be keeping  a close eye on Eden. I see now why some Mom’s just cut of their children’s hair when this happens. Round three of Eden in a different product almost sent me over the edge. Bless my sweet girl who doesn’t even like her hair brushed, for sitting patiently while I pulled all her fine tangled hair through a narrow toothed lice comb. In a closing comment I’d just like to say… “Ewwwwwwwww!!!!”

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ummm was I “thankful” on Thanksgiving?

Okay so it occurs to me that I didn’t post any real opinions or emotions regarding Thanksgiving. I feel that it needs to be said that I don’t particularly care about this holiday. Not that it isn’t special per se, but it just has never been a big deal for Eric and I. Christmas, however, is a different story. But in trying to keep with the spirit of thankfulness of the season…I am thankful for many things; but I am too dog gone tired and emotionally tapped to discuss it. My family…of course. My friends…absolutely. My God and Savior…goes without saying. I have found that little things make me more thankful that big ones recently, for example; a sink clear of dishes, clutterless counter tops and floors devoid of toys and clothing, all make me shiny happy.  When my youngest daughter looks me in the eyes, when my middle daughter lets me sneak a kiss, when my son wants to snuggle close at bedtime and my when husband makes me laugh so hard I cry …pure joy. Clorox toilet scrubbing wand, vanilla creamer, my bed, Christmas lights, and peanut M&M’s…so thankful. I feel a reflection about life as we know it coming on but it will be in a few more posts likely. At the end of the day, my God is faithful and his grace is sufficient, that I am the most thankful for. Peace out y’all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Written by Angie

Day One: Noah’s blog entry is fairly accurate with regards to the trip down. What he failed to mention is that with 1 hour and 30 minutes to go Yaya wanted OUT of her carseat…he was playing a computer game at the time so he likely doesn’t recall this. He is watching me type this and wants me to let you know that he does indeed recall that. I loved sing along time with the Christmas carols. My sweet Noah sang along with all MY favorite songs. It warmed my heart to know that the songs I love are being passed down to my children and they love them too.  Karen Carpenter’s “Christmas Waltz”, Herb Albert’s “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle” and Alabama’s “Thistlehair the Christmas Bear” are our top three! We made a stop at McDonald’s for Noah while Eden was asleep and as we were receiving our food at the window Eden woke up and said… “French Fires.” So back around we went. Consequently this time we were not first in line like before…we were 5th...nice. We finally arrived at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house about 5:30 pm. Grandma and I had the idea to Skype the two days before we came to Grandma’s and show Yaya the entire house via Skype. Yaya got to see the entire inside of the house, her crib, the bathtub, the 9 deer on the walls downstairs…everything. So when we arrived Yaya recognized it all. She was indeed very excited, like Noah already said. Both girls were wired for sound and did NOT want to go to sleep. Yaya dropped off around 9 pm and Eden at 9:45 pm. Yaya had only one screaming meltdown but it was for only like 10 minutes…she was a very angry child in those 10 minutes however. She woke up about 3 more times that night. Eden did well.

Day Two: Grandma’s was great for the one child we feared would do the worst and it was the worst for the one child we thought would have a blast. I woke up my back all out of joint, which hasn’t happened in a long time. Noah was is out of sorts. He is sucked into the computer doing Mindcraft and or watching videos about doing MC. He had a rough day refusing to do anything with anyone, which is not like him.  We discovered that Yaya LOVES to ride on the golf cart. And I mean LOVES it. If you will let her drive she loves it even more! Eden did fairly well but she wouldn’t eat much. We found out why later that night in the tub. We ended the day with a fire down by the lakeside making s’mores but that even ended poorly. Finally we got the girls in the tub and that went well right up until the point Eden had a bm in the tub and she freaked out. So while I was consoling her and Eric consoling Yaya my poor Mom was cloroxing the tub and all the tub toys. The girls went to bed easy, thank you Lord for that, and Eric and Noah got some time together on MC, and I started to put the adoption blog into a Blurb book. Big sigh. We went to bed and I thought to myself…we can’t live through another day like that…well I can’t at least.

Day Three: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Today has been better by degree. We had a lovely thanksgiving lunch around 1 pm and a walk afterward. The kids are having a better time. Yaya, is ironically, great! Noah is better but we keep finding him on his computer and I really want to throw it out the window. Eden is well…almost three years old, but she is enjoying herself. Yaya has been on 3 golf cart rides and got to meet some friends today, Ms. Linda and Mr. Gene. She played Itsy Bitsy and showed off that she knew her colors. Noah shot his bow and he is amazing with that thing. He also owned Grandma in a volleyball game they made up and in a fierce game of track ball. Now everyone is settling down watching some Fresh Beat Band and vegging on the computer again. I believe that we have a “lighting ceremony” here this evening. This is when my parents let each child have a clicker and it will turn on cool Christmas lights around the yard to kick off the Christmas season. Hopefully the girls will go down easy again and we can get some time with Noah and we all will sleep well. Grandma and Grandpa have been so super and patient with our crazy kids and I hope they get some rest soon.


Yaya’s First Time At Grandma’s House

As dictated by Noah Williamson

The drive to Grandma’s house was boring in the back seat cuz Noah didn’t really have anything to do; while the girls slept for an hour. We listened to Christmas carols and Eden sang with us and then Noah fell asleep. (I really did fall asleep.) Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see…read it to me. No. don’t type in all that….

Okay so, we got to grandma’s house and Yaya went crazy, she just started pointing at everything. And then she signed “deer”.  So we took her downstairs to where all the deer were. Daddy and Yaya counted them and they were 9. Yaya was excited that it was her first day at Grandma’s house. That’s all I can think of.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wing Awound Da Wosie & Things That Make Yaya Scream…

Okay so I’m catching up on funny videos (at least I think they are funny). This next video really showcases what an amazing brother Noah is to these girls. It also shows Yaya touching something fuzzy. Lastly it shows how darn cute Eden’s little voice is.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Six Months Ago…

Six months ago I was doing something I never dreamed would actually happen…I was in China picking up my second daughter. It was/is so surreal. We have come so far in such a short amount of time. I have all sorts of thoughts and feelings wrapped up in this but I am too emotionally, mentally and physically spent to pen then right now. So here is a small summary in pictures of the past 6 months. Be blessed friends.

May 14, 2012- Chongqing, China

The first thing we saw and Noah miraculously caught it on film was this:


It’s our girl being walked down the long hall toward us by one of her Nannies.

Then there was this:

passing hope to mama

And then this…

mama daddy right here

Followed by lots of this…

the arch

Then a smidge of this…


And then finally this…


Our brave girl had worn herself out on this scary day. But things improved and we got to see some of this before we left China…


Below is one of the better full body shots of Yaya while in China that shows off her arms and legs. While at the time she was considered a “big” baby, look at how thin she really is. Those sweet legs have zero muscle tone in them.


We made it back home across the world and one month home looked like this…

1 month home

Two months home gave us this…

2 months home

Three months home…

3 months again3 months home

Four months home was a big month as Yaya had her first surgery.

4 months home

Five  months home gave us new sensory experiences: finger painting

5 months home 2

….and sour cream.

5 months home

Yaya’s six month Gotcha Day anniversary was preceded by Eric’s family Thanksgiving celebration and I was able to snap this shot of our girl…

6 months home

You’ve come a long way baby…in so many wonderful ways! Happy Six Month Gotcha Day Yaya!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yaya’s First Christmas Tree

Okay so, yes, our tree is up. I know it isn’t even Thanksgiving but we are going to be gone a lot at the end of November and in the middle of December. I didn’t have many weekends to choose from to put out the Christmas stuff and if you know me, you know I have a lot of stuff. I discovered something very important and exciting this Christmas season…Eden LOVES to decorate! And I mean LOVES! That sweet thing worked on the tree with me for almost an hour until every last ornament was on it. She was upon the step stool and working hard. Now I must admit most of the 3000 ornaments she hung up were on only 3 different limbs so I had to sneak behind her an move ornaments to the left and right when possible. But there still are several ornament laden limbs. She even likes to teach people how to decorate, just ask Yaya. I have some more stories and pictures to post a little later that bear mentioning from this day but I want to lead in with this post. We knew Yaya would love the tree and she did…does! When we finally lit the tree up to start decorating it she was overwhelmed. My favorite part is the slow touchdown spin…you’ll get it once you see it. The video is a little long but it is so fun. Enjoy! We sure did!

Back Up Off My Ice Cream Daddy

Okay so I’ve been meaning to post this video for awhile but I had to edit it a bit and so now here it is. Eric shot this video one night while I was out of the house. He had given her an ice cream carton that was almost empty and once she got a taste of vanilla she was all about it. See what happens…

Thursday, November 8, 2012

So how are things really going…

I figured it was time for a real update on how things are. Things are going as well as they can be at almost 6 months home. Can you believe it is almost 6 months! I can hardly believe it. It seems both freakishly fast and torturously long. How can half a year have already gone by? Weren’t we just in China yesterday? AND This has been the longest, hardest 6 months of my entire life. When will it be over? (the madness that is, not my life) But here we are on the edge of 6 months, that hallowed milestone that we pray brings with it the golden glow of “we have arrived.” Yeahumm…I don’t see that happening. Especially since we will be starting Theraplay attachment therapy with Yaya next week. I better set my heart out a little further to perhaps a year. Golden glow definitely at at year. If anyone remembers their trigonometry then when I say our life is like a sine wave you’ll understand. For those that don’t remember your trig. here is a visual for you…

sine waveYep, the ole sine wave. Hated it in high school hate it now; peak, valley, peak, valley, peak, valley. It seems we alternate each month.

June: peak (yaaaay) 

July: valley (booooo)

August: peak (yaaaay)

September: valley & peak (doesn’t count we had surgery then)

October: vallley (booooo).

Unfortunately November finds us still struggling in the valley, but I am hopeful that this means December will be a peak! I don’t want to be pessimistic in this post because as I reflect on this past 6 months and what Yaya has accomplished it’s astounding and how Eden has recovered is incredible. And that Eric and I are still alive to blog about it is a miracle! But I long for some consistency and a bit of freedom if I am honest. Interestingly enough so does the rest of my family. The word for the month of November is: structure. Up until November we have had none. Zip. Zero. Zilch. We have just been trying to survive. But it is not enough to just survive and honestly having no structure is making our lives harder. All children thrive on structure and consistency for the most part and even more so for internationally adopted children. If they can accurately predict what their day will hold then they have less anxiety. Why? Do you ask? Because poor Yaya spends her day wondering when the next set of new people are going to pop in and take her away. If we can provide some consistent structure for her then she will know, for the most part, what happens next. Our lack of structure has caused her to form what is called an “anxious attachment” to Eric. Her behavior around him is unreal in that she frantically tries to stay on him at all times. She is growing more attached to him but it is anxiously so and that means that she is terrified that if she lets him go, when he leaves her sight, he won’t come back. She doesn’t trust him correctly. This has ramifications for some of her personal care. She won’t let him feed her or put her to bed. This translates into Angie having to be around morning, noon and night with almost no break from Yaya. I am restricted from going anywhere in the evenings until at least 8 pm, and by that time I’m to tired to go anywhere. (I’d like some cheese with my whine please.) Poor Eric is at a loss as what to do with her because he can’t hold her all the time and it isn’t helping anyway. He can’t really discipline her as his authoritative voice makes her cry for 40 minutes. Her behavior at times is maddening but he hangs in there. Plus, he feels helpless to help me out. Hence the Theraplay therapist.

We are using the same woman who helped us with Eden so we feel confident that she can help us. She was dead on as to what Eden needed. We have tired implementing some of the techniques that we learned to use with Eden. I also took Yaya to Eric’s office the other day to show her where Daddy goes when he leaves the house. I think it was helpful for her. I went on a schedule building binge over the past weekend and have been able to plan out our days in 30 minute increments. I know….kill me, right? It really needs to be 15 minutes…but give me a break, not even I can stomach trying to figure that out. I have totally overhauled our play room and it is resembles more of a classroom again. I drug down out of the attic a lot of Noah’s old Montessori things as well. I pulled out all the toys and I now have a weekly toy rotation plan in play. They get access to a limited amount of toys all day. Then at periodic times I bring out a bucket with about 5 other toys that they get to play with for about 30 minutes. All the books ever written on toddlers it seems tells parents to do this. I have never done it until now and I do see the wisdom and success of the idea. I also got a lot of cool stuff from the Parent Teacher Store and so we have crafts and such also available. It was a lot of work and we can’t see any immediate results but we believe in the cumulative effect. Structure+Theraplay+Other stuff = healthy attachment. That is the idea at least. OH and let’s not forget the beauty of the Public Library! It is my new best friend. Story time with Jeremy every Monday at 9:30 and Story time with other random chick Wednesday at 9:30 is the BEST! Yaya is really enjoying it! Also, need to give a shout out to Pump It Up (jumpy inflatables place). Great place for Yaya to work on her gross motor skills and she really loves that too…as does Eden.

Slowly but surely we are getting our plan in place, it is not perfect by any means nor is it fully implemented but at least there is a plan now. Having said that, the plan is exhausting and very mentally draining for me right now. I hope as we develop a routine  and get the schedule tweeked right that the days will run more smoothly. I anticipate that this will come to pass. On a lighter note…Yaya can count to 10 and she is learning the signs for that. She makes noises for each number and knows that seven is a two syllable word. She also knows her basic colors: ROYGBP plus pink and black. We are working on Gray and White. She can sign all the colors. Her sign vocabulary is probably over 100 signs by now. She is so smart this girl. Her lip is healing fairly well. She is having some trouble with a couple sutures not dissolving under the skin but today we saw her surgeon and he said they were going to go away and she would be fine. We also found out today that her ear tubes are clogged. What that means we don’t know yet, I have to call the ENT. She isn’t having any problems they are just clogged. My hope is that we can just ride that along till her Jan. 7th surgery date and take care of it then. She also cut two new teeth in her lower jaw! Her balance and ability to run, jump and climb are improving but she is still behind in gross motor I believe. I contacted Hand in Hand today, which is a facility that does the early intervention stuff for kids with delays…speech therapy, OT, PT and other amazing stuff it is under the umbrella of the UCPF. Most of my friends who have adopted recently are taking their kids there. I met a lady at Pump It Up today whose son goes there. She encouraged me to “just get in the system”. So I am. I don’t know if they can do anything with regards to speech before Yaya’s surgery but they could help with the gross motor skills. So I’m pumped about hearing back from them to see how they can help our girl.

Eden finally has settled into school. She looks forward to going to school, most days. We are seeing a little increase in her frustration levels but I think the structure will help her too. Plus, we are still doing the attachment exercises with her, just not at the counseling office. She is a bit clingy to Mommy which makes days that I have both the girls all day long very trying for me as the girls compete for my attention and affection. But all in all she is growing up into a beautiful, witty, funny, smart little girl. She makes me smile just thinking of her.

Then there is Noah. He is incredible. I should just stop there. He is so good with the girls and patient with them for the most part. He takes time to play with them and includes them in so much of his play. He blows me away with his compassionate kind heart. I want to just weep at how thoughtful and loving he is. He is doing great in gymnastics and is about to start his competition season in early December. He is loving school and doing great. He is amazing.

That is enough for now. I’ll post random pictures later. Time for sleep!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halloween 2012

Okay so I’m really falling behind on blogging. I will try to catch up starting with Halloween. It was wonderful! But let me back up to a week before Halloween. I don’t know if my memory is faulty or not but I remember as a child having our pumpkins cut, lit, and around the house for at least a week or so before Halloween. I remember them lasting quite a long time. Was everything made better, “in the good ole’ days”. I mean, games like Hungry Hungry Hippos and Trouble were DEFINITELY made better back when I was Noah’s age. Now they are all made of flimsy material and they can’t take a beating. All this to say about 6 days before Halloween I carved this for Eden:



M-I-C…see you real soon…is right. That joker of a pumpkin was rotted and wilted in on itself in less than 48 hours! I was so angry and Eden was so sad! Now fast forward to Oct. 31st! We had hollowed out Noah’s and Yaya’s pumpkins on Sunday evening (just 3 days prior) and Noah’s was rotted. So I was going to just scrap the whole deal, but Noah was so excited about the pattern he picked out. Soooo I got Eden and Noah new pumpkins and at about 3:00 pm, I was gutting those mugs and carving like the wind. Eden was still upset about her Minnie Mouse and refused to pick a pattern. So I asked her if she just wanted her name on it, to which she agreed. Here is what we ended up with. If Yaya’s pumpkin resembles her former self…I will never admit it was intentional…


The morning of Halloween was going well right up until Noah asked me who was going to trick or treat with him. Oh yeah….that…ummmm…..your sisters??? AWWWWW MOM! Come on! Yeahumm sorta dropped the ball on that one. So I picked up the phone to call my friend Sandra whose son is one of Noah’s good friends, Nicholas. Praise be to God, they hadn’t made plans either and were glad to come over to trick or treat at our neighborhood. We agreed to order pizza for dinner and hang out till it was “time". Later that afternoon, I carved more pumpkins as you already know, and Eric decorated the outside of the house while the kids swept played in the leaves from the sidewalk. Then we waited for our guest to arrive.


Sadly the pizza was a total disaster and 2 hours and 45 minutes later we went and got our pizza from the franchise we ordered it from. Eric and Tony got the kids ready while Sandra and I were waiting vigil on our pizza and when we finally arrived home we grabbed a couple slices and head out for the main event! It was a beautiful fall night! The girls looked so cute and the guys looked “cool”. Noah was Hawkeye from the Avengers (Marvel Comics), Eden was Tinkerbell and Yaya was Minnie Mouse.


Yaya was not as impressed with her costume as the rest of the crew and you can forget trying to get the mouse ears on her. Eden was so darn cute that she kept getting extra candy for her cuteness. The boys were on a candy rampage and had a blast. Yaya was very content to just ride in the stroller right up until we were about to quit, then she decided to get in the game. She got to trick or treat at about 5 houses and was very pleased with herself.


Sandra and Tony took the boys on a bit further while Eric and I strapped the girls in the stroller and leisurely headed home. It was a delightful hand in hand walk home with my husband. We arrived at the house to see that some obnoxious “sweet” children had cleared out all our candy. Normally this would have upset me but since I didn’t want all that garbage in my home I was glad to see an empty basket. The boys arrived later and they were howling and hollering as they came in the door. Apparently one of our sweet neighbor ladies saw the boys and had them come over and take all her candy. It filled up their pumpkin buckets to the top. They were so thrilled!! We all dug into the pizza and drinks while the boys sorted the loot! Eden had such a great time with the boys, although I think they may have cheated her out of some of her candy. All in all it was wonderful. We got everyone down to bed at a semi-reasonable hour and I went to sleep with a smile on my lips…a rare thing these days. So grateful for a wonderful celebration! Thanks so much Sandra, Tony and Nicholas for join us!