Thursday, December 30, 2010

Apparently She Likes Pigs

J, A, B, Grandpa, and a couple friends went to Clarkston today to pick up 26 pigs for the 4-H club. They left at 8:00 am and got back at 3:30 pm. Cara was so excited for them to come home with the pigs, but I'm not sure she knew exactly what 26 piglets were going to look like. We sat in the front window waiting and she had me read her The Three Little Pigs a couple of times.
When they got home she had me put her jacket on and she raced out to the pig pen to watch the pigs be taken out of the truck and dropped into the pen. I thought the squealing would freak her out, but she screamed and laughed and thought it was hysterical. She wanted in the pen with the pigs and wasn't afraid at all. She patted a couple of them, but wasn't really interested in touching them after that. She would point and say, "I want that one, I want that one," as she was listening/copying the other kids as they were trying to choose which pigs they wanted. I had a hard time getting her to come back inside even though it was right about 32 degrees F outside. The rest of the 4-H kids will come tomorrow morning to pick out their pigs. Thirteen of the pigs will go live somewhere else until the livestock show in May but the other 13 will stay here. I think Cara is going to like having pigs outside to watch and play with for the next few months.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some girls play dolls...

Some girls play dress-up, but Cara's favorite thing to play is EKG! The technician gave Cara the EKG patches after Cara's appointment with the cardiologist. We have all had several EKG's in the past few days. She puts the stickers on, puts her little ear to your chest, and says, "heart goes dump, dump dump," then she takes them off and puts them on someone else. It's pretty funny. Think of the money I could have saved buying Christmas gifts. I could have just bought some EKG patches and brought new ones out when the old ones lost their stick.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Cara has done quite well with this whole Christmas thing. The other night we went to some friend's house for dinner. We explained to her how the whole evening would go: we would shower, dress up, go over to the house, she would get to play with some kids, we would eat dinner, then we would come home. She was quiet, did pretty well, but that night she had a night terror. Anytime something new happens we get a night terror. Lots of people say just to soothe her and let her cry it out. Cara just gets worse and worse with the terror if we do that. She needs to be picked up and swayed back and forth until the terror/crying subsides. I don't know how long night terrors go on for kids, but I'm kind of wondering how we will do the picking up and swaying thing when she's a teenager.
Yesterday we told her she would take a shower, put on her pretty dress, go to church, go to Grandma and Grandpa's and eat dinner, open presents, and go home. She did really well. She was amazed by the presents and not as overwhelmed with the noise like I thought she would be. Every time she got a present she would say, "Mine?" Kind of like she was surprised that there was something for her. Then she would open it and say, "Mine? Ao Huan's?" Like she still had to double-check that it was actually for her. It's a little humbling and heart-breaking to see her so thankful for everything she receives. I work for a school district that is widely considered to be one of the poorest districts in the state (we are either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd poorest every year; it fluctuates). I am blessed to see kids that are thankful for everything they receive on a daily basis. But it's just different to see it in your own home; especially since my kids have a lot.
It weirded Cara out to open a present, put it to the side, then open another one. She wanted to stop what she was doing and play with it. I think she would have been fine with one gift. Every year my mom gets the grandkids a clothes box. She always wants the kids to try everything on and they say, "NOOOOOO!" Once we got home, Cara took out her clothes box and had me try everything on her and patted herself and said, "Ohhhhhh, pretty!" My mom would have loved it; a kid that actually enjoyed the clothes box and tried everything on and she's not even a teenaged girl! :)
We put Cara in bed with us and told her that Santa would come in the night and bring her a big present. She wasn't too sure about the idea of Santa coming into her house an night (in retrospect, maybe we should have rephrased the Santa part). But she went to sleep and we didn't have a night terror! It was amazing. I thought we would have one for sure! We woke her up this morning and took her out into the living room where Santa had brought her an indoor trampoline! She wasn't too sure about what to do with it, but once B showed her how it's done, she's a serious jumper! She also had to model her "Jazzie man" dress up kit. Jazzie man is her favorite princess.
J got me a flip camera so I can put videos on my blog. I'll play with it and try to post something in the next few days. All in all, we had a pretty great Christmas. Cara, by far, is our favorite present! I hope your Christmas was just as wonderful!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Building the Pig Pen

The kids will get their pigs on December 30th. They raise them every year and show/sell them at the Toppenish Livestock Show. They will travel to meet the breeder from Idaho and pick up 26 pigs for the kids in the 4-H group. We will have 13 pigs living in the pen they built until the first week in May. I wonder what Cara will think of that?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Doing Nails For Christmas

Not sure why purple was the color choice. Cara will be wearing a red dress and A will wear an emerald green sweater with a grey sequined tank top. At least they are having fun together.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The News Could Not Have Been Better

On Thursday Cara had a full day of doctor appointments. She started with the cardiologist at Seattle Children's Hospital at 10:15 a.m. We met Dr. Madsen, the cardiologist, who gave us a quick lesson on the workings of the heart. He basically said that he wouldn't know exactly what we were looking at with Cara's heart until they did an echocardiogram. That appointment was at 11:00 a.m. Cara laid on the bed and sat still for 105 pictures of her heart. I couldn't believe it. The lady taking the pics even said Cara would probably be her best patient all day. About 5 minutes after Cara got dressed, we were back in the exam room with Dr. Madsen. He said he had good news. Cara's VSD was in the muscular part of her ventricles, which was still growing and had an opportunity to close spontaneously on its own. He also said it was actually 2, 2mm holes, so they are very small. He said the worst case scenario would be surgery when she was a teenager and to come back in a year. She has no restrictions on any of her activities. He basically said to treat her the same as we would our other two children. We were happily relieved and thrilled with the news. We feel like we can relax a little bit about her heart condition. We will continue to provide her with good nutrition and let her play as hard as she wants and go back for a check-up next December. It was a pretty awesome Christmas present, that's for sure!
At 2:30 p.m. Cara went to see Dr. Davies, the IA doctor. Cara has grown 1 cm in 5 weeks, but has not gained any weight. Dr. Davies didn't seem too concerned about it, though. She eats constantly and chases around everywhere. I'm not surprised she hasn't gained anything; she burns it all off! During the visit I said to Dr. Davies, "when you prepare for adoption, you read as much as you can and prepare yourself for the most difficult situation you can imagine, and I think she's doing pretty well. Is this normal?" His response was, "No." So I guess she's doing even better than he would expect. She goes back to see Dr. Davies in six months. Overall, Cara had a great day.
We did a little Christmas shopping in Seattle and headed home. Now we're just finishing up our Christmas preparations for Cara's first Christmas home with her family.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A's 16th Birthday Party

I can't believe my oldest is 16, but she is; or she will be this coming Wednesday. I remember 16 years ago we got up early and went to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane to be induced. I hardly slept the night before because I was so nervous. It was snowing and I had a room overlooking the high school next to the hospital, so I was able to watch the kids all day to keep myself entertained. Labor took most of the day and at one point, the doctor said if labor didn't progress we would have to do a C-section to which I replied, "NOOOOOOOO!" A was born at 9:55 pm December 15th, 1994.
She has turned into a beautiful, very intelligent young lady. Anyone would be proud to call her their daughter. She will be inducted into National Honor Society this coming Monday. For her birthday she got her car. She passed the written portion of the test last Friday and is scheduled to take her driving test on December 29th. She also got a Coach cupcake keychain, some make-up, clothes, a car cover, and a Pandora bracelet. I'm totally jealous of the Pandora bracelet because I want one myself! Cara was very interested in the whole birthday scene. I doubt she's ever been to a birthday party before. This one was pretty unconventional, too. A had brownies, chocolate cupcakes, and home made candy cane ice cream. I realized at the last minute that I didn't have birthday candles, so A blew out the Yankee candle sitting on the counter.
It will be interesting to see what Cara thinks of birthday parties in the future; ones with a decorated cake and real birthday candles. The next birthday is her dad's, which is the day after Christmas.
Cara has her doctor appointment with the cardiologist and her next visit with the IA doctor this coming Thursday. This will be when we finally find out the size of her VSD and what needs to be done about it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Pics

Sometime around January, 2010 this top picture was taken to prepare the file of a very special little girl for international adoption. She ended up on the June 2010 shared list and was locked by our agency, who knew she would be perfect for our family. She popped up on our email the morning of June 22, 2010 and we sent in our Letter of Intent that very day. She had just turned 3 on June 3rd.
The second picture is Cara's 3 1/2 year picture. Big difference, huh?! She still has a little bit of a nervous smile, but she's getting more comfortable. The last picture is Cara with her brother and sister. The mischievous little side glance is a look we see frequently; usually right before she does something she's not supposed to! :0)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Apple Cup and a Christmas Tree

Today is Apple Cup! For those of you who are not from Washington State, it is the Washington State University vs. University of Washington football game. WSU has had a terrible football team the last few years, but they have actually won two games this year. UW wants to go to a bowl game and only needs one more win to become bowl eligible. If WSU wins, they knock UW out of bowl contention, which is a double victory for WAZZU in my book! We have season tickets and J, A, and B are at the game. I did not want to take Cara to a cold football stadium when she hasn't even been home for two months so we stayed home today. We are listening to the game on the radio and as I type, UW has just scored. Boo! Plus Cara has had a fever since last night so she's been a little bit under the weather.
Cara took a 3 hour nap today and while she was sleeping I decorated the Christmas tree. When she woke up and first saw the tree, all she could do was stare. Then she saw a couple of Santa ornaments on the tree and had to point them out to me. She likes the idea of Santa and can tell you Santa says, "Ho, ho, ho," but I think if she saw someone dressed up as Santa she would freak. Don't think we will be doing Santa pictures this year. She does have her 3 1/2 year picture appointment in the morning and I'm anxious to see how she does. She still doesn't have a natural smile most of the time; its more like she just pulls her lips back and shows her teeth. I hope we can get some good pictures with a genuine smile.