Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a wonderful day!

I am so thankful to have everything I could
have ever wished for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


you just feel like you've been kicked in the gut when you get through dealing with all you have to deal with when your child has expanders.  So much changes with them so quickly, and when they have a bad night or start reacting differently to very normal things, like putting them in the bathtub, you have to wonder if they are just having a bad night, or are they reacting differently because their skin is more sensitive to the water because of the expansion, or are they just being a 3 year old.  Then you top off the night by trying to clip a suture that is getting irritated and festered from skin that is already stretched so tightly on the back of your very upset child, who doesn't understand why you are doing what you are doing even though you are explaining it to them the best you can.  All they know is that it hurts.  Whew, will I be so glad when we have this behind us - when we can have a normal life, without surgeries, expanders, fills, and more surgeries. 
Don't get me wrong.  I am very thankful that we have the option to remove Sophie's nevus, and I am so very thankful that Sophie is otherwise healthy and that this is only temporary.  I realize that we have it so easy compared to what other children and families are having to deal with.  This is what makes me continue to push through this, to be able to do these things week in and week out.  But, I'm not going to lie.  It is hard, but we are so blessed that Sophie is doing so well with this.  She is a trooper.  I, on the other hand, not so much sometimes.  Tonight is one of those times.

On a positive note, we are less than 4 weeks out from Sophie's next surgery. The time is flying by so fast!Below are the latest pictures of her with 400ccs in each back expander and 315 in the one on her tummy.  She thinks the expander on her tummy is so funny.  She laughs and says, "Look at my big ol' tummy, Mama!".  That makes all of this so much easier for all of us. 

Thanks so much for your continued prayers!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011 was quite a treat...for all of us!

This year, Sophie had a blast on Halloween.  Since early October,
she would come home singing Halloween songs, some I
remember from a long, long time ago.  I was surprised that they
were still being sung, and that I could still remember the words!

We began talking about what she wanted to be on Halloween. 
She decided that she wanted to be a princess.  We looked
around at different princess costumes, many of which I did not
really like (and she did, of course).  Finally, we decided that she
would be Snow White.  Sophie has Snow White's hair,
so it was perfect!
On Thursday night before Halloween,
Sophie's school held their annual Trunk-or-Treat.  The
weather was perfect, and everyone came out to
enjoy the evening.

We ran into our neighbor, Lauren, there. 
She plays with Sophie a lot on the weekends,
so Sophie was really excited to see her.

Sophie's friend, Lily Kate (aka, Spider Girl), soon
joined us, and they jumped right into the festivities! 

They quickly filled their buckets with LOTS of candy,
so much that Sophie was soon asking me to carry her's
because it was so heavy.

As we were making the last round, Sophie and Lily Kate
ran into their classmate, Cooper (aka, Luigi).  I slowed them
long enough to get a quick photo before they were
off and running again!

The night was great, but we had to hurry on home so that
the sugar high could wear off  we could get a good night's rest
before Sophie's class party the next day.

Here we are, ready to go again! 

When we got to school,
Sophie's teacher, Ms. Cindy, was very surprised to see
Sophie dressed as Snow White.  Apparently,
Sophie had been telling her for two weeks that she was going
to be a bunny!  I'm glad I did not have a rebellion on my
hands while trying to get ready for school!

Here is Sophie's sweet class, all dressed in their costumes.
They are always smiling and laughing!

Birthdays and Ballgames

So far the Fall has been very busy!

Our twin grandchildren, Bailey and Wyatt, who are walking miracles, turned 2.  They celebrated a few weeks ago with a Minnie and Mickey Mouse birthday party.  They are both growing so quickly and
going everywhere!  They had lots of fun playing on the jungle gym outside on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Sophie got to go to her first ever Bama game, where she cheered and shook her shaker
as if she had been to numerous games before. 
She only made it to half-time, but we thought that was
great considering all of the excitement she had
experienced that day!

We also went to see Nick play soccer.

I think we may have a World Cup Soccer player in the family.
He loves to play, but he's really looking forward
to the day he can strap on some pads and play
American football!

 During Nick's game, Anna Kay and Sophie played their
own soccer game.  They had a great time and ran off a lot
of excess energy before crashing for the night.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On Our Way

Hi, everyone!  I wanted to give a quick update to all of you who still follow along on our blog.  Sophie is doing great since her surgery at the end of September.  She has healed beautifully and is now back to her sweet little self.  She stayed out of school a week while the drains were in, but she was so excited to get rid of the them and back to school to all of her friends, playtime, and lots of popsicles! 

Speaking of popsicles, they have to be Sophie's all time favorite food at the moment.  She asks for them All. Of. The. Time.  Of course, she is not allowed to have them whenever she wants, but we try to oblige as much as possible.  Popsicles helped get Sophie motivated to wake up and out of the hospital after her surgery.  The nurses were great to bring as many to her as she wanted, which showed us she could eat and everything was working as it should so that we could be released to go back to the hotel for a little R&R (rest and recovery). 

While Sophie was waiting to go to surgery, the wonderful staff at the hospital gave Sophie the sweet little puppy, Cooper (which also happens to be the name of one of her best buds from school), you see below.  It was love and first sight!  Cooper got to go to surgery with Sophie, and everything.  They have been just about inseperable since. 

We are two fills into this round of expansion, and everything is going well. I was worried about doing our first fill at home, since it had been several months since we last did one. Everything went well, and Sophie is now sporting 160ccs in her back expanders and 120 in her belly.  The pics below were taken before we did her first fill at home.  Each back expander has 120 ccs and the belly has 80.  As you can see, she is already expanding quite a bit, so we can only imagine what November and early December will bring us.  We are praying for lots of healthy skin!  Thanks for checking in with us, and stay tuned for more updates!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Round 2!

Here we are back in Chicago for Sophie's second round of expanders.  She is getting 3 this time.  Two on her back, and one on her lower abdomen.  Dr. Bauer says the two on her back will be 1000ccs each, while the one on her tummy will be 500.  Holy Cow!  That is even bigger than the last time!  Well, if bigger expanders mean one less surgery, then we will take it!

We will be here until Monday, so please pray that Sophie does as well this time as she has the other two.  We are sure she will, but one can never have too many prayers being said!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Few Videos

Earlier this year, Sophie started singing "Jesus Loves Me"
while playing the "drums".  I tried and tried to record her
performance, but she was having no part of it. 
Finally, one day I talked her into letting me
 record her singing.  As you will see, she obliged, but
when she was done, she was done.

It's so sweet to see Sophie saying the
Pledge of Allegiance.  She doesn't realize
it yet, but those will be some of the best words that she
will ever speak.  Also, Sophie wants to say the
blessing by herself before meals. It seems like yesterday
that we were just teaching her to say it.

I managed to get Sophie singing all of "God Bless America".
It's amazing what little sponges they are.
Quickly taking everything in. 

Last but not least, we have a new cheer for 3K.
It was supposed to be 2 Bits, but it turned into a cheer
for what Sophie loves to do!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Sophie!

On August 23rd, our big girl turned 3! 

It is SO hard to believe that she is so big and 3 already!  She is changing so much physically and developmentally.  I know I told y'all a while back how she could say anything she wanted, but now that comes in complete sentences and much clearer.  We have many of the words that you expect from 3K, both good and bad, but we are taking it in stride.

 We started out with a birthday party at 3K with all of the kids. 

Baba, who is quickly becoming known as "Daddy",
 and I took muffins, fruit, and Capri Suns to school for everyone. 

All of the kids sang "Happy Birthday" to Sophie, and then
Mrs. Cindy got a big birthday hug before everyone went back to the class.

There, Sophie's class sang to her again,
Mrs. Cindy gave Sophie birthday "licks",
and Sophie got to sit in Mrs. Cindy's chair and
open the birthday gift of her choice.
She had a great time, and all of the kids were so sweet!

After a birthday dinner of Sophie's favorites,
fried chicken, corn on the cob, rice, and butter beans,
Sophie opened the rest of her gifts.

She loves music, so she was very excited about the
keyboard that Nana and Pawpaw gave her.

She also loves to play in the water and sand, so
this water/sand table was a big hit too!

We wound up the birthday celebrations with a Kai Lan
pool party with friends and family.  Everyone had a great time,
and we appreciate everyone making this birthday such a special one!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sophie Starts 3K!

I can't believe that I am writing this....

Sophie started 3K at Monroe Academy, my alma mater, on August 11.  She is officially a Volunteer. 

She has the cheerleader uniform to prove it!

I wanted to get some pictures of Sophie before we left home, but lately we have been into making some really silly faces when Mama is trying to take pictures,  

 so we started out like this....

then we got the really big grin....
and I'm not sure exactly what you would call this,

but we finally were able to get a decent picture. 
Believe me, the angelic look is very misleading.  Ha!  Kidding...
She is very sweet, but very mischevious!

Sophie has been really been excited about going to her "new school", as she calls it, and we are so glad!  We had no problems getting her ready to go.  I, on the other hand, got more and more nervous the closer the time came for us to leave home.  I kept telling myself all the way there that I couldn't cry, because if I got upset, then she would get upset.  I just about lost it as we were turning into the parking lot, but I held it together.  I told Sophie to look at all of the cars and kids.  She exclaimed, "Wow!  My new school!"  We walked in, and I could tell she was a little apprehensive, but we saw a couple of friends from daycare and found something to play with, and off we went!  She LOVES it!  We are so happy!

Lily, Sophie, and Molly (her daycare buds)

When I ask her what she did at school, she tells me all about playing outside on the playground.  She tells me that she has to wait her turn to ride the merry-go-round or the see-saw, and she loves to swing.  Mrs.Cindy, Sophie's teacher, found out very quickly how much she LOVES to play outside.  This child would live outside if you would let her!  I hope she will begin to like school work as much as she does playing outside.  If she doesn't, we may be in BIG trouble!

Summer Wind Down

I know... 

I am so far behind posting on the blog.  I tried to stay caught up, but we've just been having so much fun enjoying life that the blog took a backseat to everything else.  We have enjoyed several trips to the beach, time at the pool, and playing at home.  Sophie loves playing in the sand and water at the beach and the pool.  At the beginning of the summer, Sophie was a little afraid of the water, but now, she's doing much better.  She is still not too keen on going underwater, but every time we go, she gets better and better.

We made a trip to Birmingham for Sophie's one year check-up at the International Adoption Clinic.  The wonderful staff there told us that she is doing great and not to come back until Sophie gets ready to start kindergarten.  We were SO pleased by this!  We thought she was doing great, but it's music to the ears to hear it from the professionals!  While we were in Birmingham, we got to see our friends Rhonda and Hannah Grace.  We met for lunch, and sweet little Hannah Grace asked us to come along for dessert at the yogurt shop.  We were so glad she did!  We LOVE yogurt (especially Baba)!!

Sophie has been so excited about going to her "new school".  She is going to attend 3K at Monroe Academy, my alma mater.  She received a letter in the mail from her teacher telling her how excited she was the Sophie was in her class.  Sophie loves to get mail, so this was extra special!

We hope that everyone had a great summer!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Happened to June?

Has anyone seen my June?  If you find it, please send it back!

I couldn't believe my eyes, when I opened the blog to see that it had been a whole month since I last posted.  I don't know where the time has gone, but it flew by.  I guess we've just been enjoying our expander and surgery free time so much that it just whizzed right by us.

We have had a very busy month full of family reunions,

trips to the beach,

Father's Day,


and just hanging out at home.
Sophie's favorite place to hide ~ under the dining room table.

Sophie is getting to be such a big girl now.  She is potty training (I will spare you the photos :-)) and sleeping in her big girl bed.  She loves getting ready for bed because we read books to her and then she "reads" to us.  Even though she is going to be earlier, we get more cuddle time in bed with her before she falls asleep.  We LOVE that! 

Sophie's favorite book is Good Night Moon,  

and her favorite cartoon is Ni Hao, Kai Lan. 

Here she has her "safari" hat on while acting out part of a Kai Lan episode and going shopping.  She is such a funny little girl and has quite the active imagination.  It is amazing how much Chinese language and culture she is picking up from Kai Lan.   It is definitely educational for her and us! 

I promised to post some post-surgery pictures of Sophie.  Here they are.  It is remarkable to me that she has healed so well so quickly.  Dr. Bauer is a genius, and we are so thrilled with the job he has done so far. 

We have scheduled Sophie's next round of surgeries.  We go September 30 for another round of expanders, and then have another surgery to remove part of the nevus on December 15.  I know it sounds crazy to plan surgery so close to Christmas, but having it then means that she will be back to full speed by Christmas, and it will give her all of Christmas vacation to recoup before school starts back in January. 

Thanks for checking in with us.  We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


While in Chicago last week, we tried to find things to pass the time and keep Sophie (and us) occupied.  On Sunday, we decided to go to a movie.  Sophie had never been to a movie before, and we weren't entirely sure how long she would sit for one, if at all.  I quickly searched online to find an age appropriate movie.  Rio was the only movie available at the time.  I watched the trailer for it, and it seemed cute enough, so we decided to go for it.

We arrived at the theater and made our way to the ticket counter and paid for the tickets.  As soon as we began to walk off, the ticket guy pushed 3 pair of 3-D glasses into Bo's hand.  I was shocked!  I had totally missed that this was a 3-D movie!  Bo and I looked at each other like "This won't last long because Sophie will never keep the 3-D glasses on for the movie...", but we had already paid for the tickets so we made our way to the theater.  We made it in just in time for the movie to begin.  We put on our glasses and helped Sophie with her's and settled into our seats, which were conveniently located near the back of the theater just in case we needed to make a quick exit. :)

Well, I am here to tell you that we were completely wrong!  Not only did Sophie watch the whole movie, she kept her glasses on the entire time! 

We will definitely be going to another movie very soon!