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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A little of this

Winter Break has started a bit early around here thanks to a cold that's been going around. I kept Anellah home from school yesterday and today. She might go back tomorrow and will definitely be back at least one day this week but it's been fun to have extra time together and think about all that has happened in 2012.

Last year we were doing this.
A complete puzzle with no baby to tear it apart!
This year there is a lot of this....
Contain the kids in a box?
...and this.
But while Capper does this,
Loves his blankie!

Anellah still has some uninterrupted time to do this...
"Mommy, I need to do some homework."
...and sometimes Capper even helps.
"Here Capper, I teach you...I am teacher Kelly"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What will you learn today?

This morning as Anellah was getting ready for school she asked me, "What will you learn today, Mommy?" I've been thinking about her question all morning. I think my answer is that I'm working on learning more about how to be obedient and celebrate Christ in my day to day life. The past month or so I've been thinking about how to make life meaningful rather than just trying to get through it. During this season there is so much to celebrate and this year the true reason of why we celebrate is at the forefront of my mind as it is the first year that Anellah will be able to have some understanding of Baby Jesus and his birth. In order to help teach her about Christmas I decided our "Advent Calendar" would be in the form of little gifts. I bought the Little People Nativity Scene and wrapped each piece individually. There weren't quite 24 pieces so I added a few extra animals.

The kids have enjoyed playing with each of them, it's fun to have something interactive and the pieces have helped to give us a starting point in telling Anellah different pieces of the Christmas story.

So today I am thankful that Christ came to earth. I am thankful for tasking Daniel and I with the job of being parents. I am learning about how to be thankful and how to live out what Christ has called me to do in this season of life. What will you learn today?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Photos from Half Moon Bay

As promised, here are some photos from "A Fun Trip."

Playing at the beach with her buddy, Timothy

It rains every year but we still have fun!

Last Year


This Year

Anellah and I had an ER visit this weekend, I'll spare you the poopy details, but it seems to be nothing. We're hoping it doesn't come up again. The doctors were concerned about a side effect from her liver cirrhosis. Her forehead is definitely looking better despite the fact that yesterday she was overly excited and ran into a doorway with her face. I'm thankful it didn't swell up too much again after that incident.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful, we enjoyed spending it with some good friends. Capper would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bring your Kids to Work Week

Anellah was off from school all week for Thanksgiving and Daycare was only open one day due to the holiday. I'd agreed to give flu shots to employees for work so they got to come with me! I figured it was a good distraction for anyone who was queasy about needles. Anellah was the sticker-giver and babysitter. I think they both had fun.

We spent quite a few hours driving, according to the trip timer in my car we drove 9 hours in two days. As you can see, though, helping Mamma at work is tiring!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"A Fun Trip"

On our drive home this afternoon Anellah kept remarking, "A fun trip. Going on a fun trip." We spent the weekend at Half Moon Bay, just like we did the first weekend of November last year. We enjoyed playing in puddles during the rain, flying a broken kite on the beach, and playing in the waves. Most of all we enjoyed fellowship with good friends and having playmates for our kids.

We'll have a bunch of photos to post soon once everyone from the group shares photos. But here is a taste:

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This is the day that the Lord has made,
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Psalm 118:24

This has been my mantra this past week, even when I'm not really in the mood to "rejoice" or "be glad." Today, though, it's been easy. Today has been a splendid Saturday with warm yet crisp fall weather. We're dogsitting Buddy this weekend so the kids, Buddy, and I enjoyed a nice LONG walk with a stop at the park.  We finished it off with a taco-truck taco picnic in the front yard. Anellah and I "carved" our last pumpkins this morning and they're baking right now so that we have a few months worth of pumpkin puree on hand.

Inspired to use the big swing of her own accord!
A few nights ago, I re-enacted Halloween to get photos of the kids in costume. I wasn't entirely successful but here they are anyway.

Happy Face/Sad Face Pumpkin, Anellah's request. The other side was smiling.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

The best photo I was able to get of both kids.
Anellah's head doesn't seem to be getting any better which is discouraging. The other day it even seemed to get more swollen. But it is not bothering her at all. We and her pediatrician agree that as long as it is not bothering her and she is not acting any differently we should keep her out of the hospital/clinics/medical facilities and let her carry on.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Headache

Well Anellah doesn't seem to have a headache but it sure looks like she should. On Monday morning she got up and we noticed the side of her forehead was swollen. She and I spent the day in the Emergency Room trying to determine what the problem was while Capper stayed home with Daniel. Eventually, after lots of back and forth, we went home without having any tests done being told she probably just hit her head and we hadn't noticed.

Tuesday the swelling was worse but we sent her to school and called her pediatrician who was able to get her in for a same-day appointment. Daniel and Anellah went from the appointment straight to the hospital for some bloodwork and a CT scan as it appeared Anellah was bleeding under the skin and potentially in her brain. Unfortunately Anellah was too scared of the CT scan machine so they were sent home to wait for a call to schedule the CT scan under anesthesia the next day. Meanwhile I was in touch with her pediatrician who agreed that having the CT scan the next afternoon (when there was an opening available) was too long to wait. That evening she and I went back to the hospital through the ER in order to have the CT scan done with an ER physician administering a sedative. She was able to have the scan and the results were good, meaning there was no bleeding inside the brain. We were able to come home around 1AM.

Wednesday Daniel stayed home with the kids and in the evening Anellah was able to go to our church's event, Pumpkin Patch, because I didn't want her to miss out two years in a row (last year was her surgery). Today she was able to go to school and have a somewhat normal day although her forehead is still super swollen.

The cause of the bleeding is Anellah's liver failure. The liver problems are causing a couple issues, both of which lead to her blood having an inability to clot. The blood clotting issue came up for the first time about a year ago but has been getting worse, which means her liver function is probably getting worse too. At this point she is just being frequently monitored through blood tests. It has been a reminder, though, that she lives with chronic and complicated medical conditions and will never be "cured." It's also hard not knowing what to do, being caught between being cautious but not overprotective.

Trip 3 of 3

BBQ Chips!

Blueberry muffins (you know our lives revolve around food, right?)

I wish I had some festive photos to add, the kids were cute in their costumes last night and I SHOULD have taken Chelsea up on her offer to take our photo but I didn't. :) I also need to take a photo of Anellah with her carved pumpkin, as requested it has both a sad face and a happy face (one on each side).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kidneys and Crawling

Yesterday we went to Anellah's nephrologist (kidney doctor) for a check up. This is one of my FAVORITE doctors and I highly recommend if anyone has a child with any sort of kidney issue they see Dr. Elizabeth Talley! It was not only a great visit because Dr. Talley is super nice, but we also had good news. Anellah's blood levels which monitor kidney function have remained the same and a recent ultrasound even showed that although her kidneys don't look entirely normal, her kidneys are growing! Dr. Talley recommended we just carry on and return in 6 months for another follow up. No need to do anything special.

And in other news, Capper is starting to crawl...or rather hop like a frog without the "hop." He slides on his belly which seems uncomfortable considering it's been too hot for him to wear a shirt lately. I'm going to try to get a video of his "crawl" to post on here. He's also moving in other ways too such as rudimentary creeping (holding onto furniture and walking for a step or two).

Capper's mouth is like a waterfall as he finally has his first tooth making an appearance. We were lucky to make it to 8 1/2 months without any teeth. He's been a bit more fussy than usual but still a pretty good boy.
Anellah and Capper had a blast on Sunday afternoon while she fed him dirt with a side of bamboo.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life Right Now

Do you remember when going to the grocery store was actually FUN?? I remember my Mom asking me, "do you want to come?" and thinking, "Why yes I do!" Well last night Anellah and I went shopping, not the "fun" kind, just the grocery kind. We left sleeping Capper and football-watching Daddy at home to make a grocery run in the evening (something I rarely do) and we had so much fun! The first cart I picked had locked wheels so although I tested it for about 2 feet, evidently the wheels don't lock for 3 feet so I loaded Anellah up and pushed with full force only to JOLT to a stop. Anellah thought it was great and said, "Again!?!?" So we played with the lock-wheeled grocery cart for a minute and both cracked up awhile before switching over to another. The rest of the trip was just the usual, but we enjoyed it by being silly. Anellah loved putting things that I handed her into the basket part of the cart and talking to all the other customers. So strange but I came home feeling happy and refreshed after something as silly as running an errand!

That's how life has been the last couple weeks. A month ago it seemed like everything was more difficult than it should have been. Every phone call I made resulted in lots of time on hold and/or more phone calls. Work was extra busy and my coworker was out sick. Every line I chose anywhere I went seemed to be the slow one. Every medication I ordered for Anellah seemed to need a refill or had another issue. Everything relating to school starting seemed to be ridiculously complicated. Both kids had colds. The list went on and on. But then we went on vacation (somewhat begrudgingly I must say since I really didn't want to put forth the work of packing and traveling) and had a great time. We came home and I had a couple days off work before returning. I ran errands and they went SMOOTHLY. I made food and it tasted GOOD. I went to bed at night and didn't have to wake up with the kids more than once or twice. Right now I'm just relishing in that. I'm enjoying life, I'm enjoying our family. I'm enjoying the fact that I work part time. Honestly, if I weren't me I think I'd be a bit jealous of myself right now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maryland and DC

Hello world, since we've been busy and collecting a lot of great pictures you get another post!

September 7th we flew from Oakland (11:30PM) to Washington, DC (arrived at 7:30AM) for a very fulfilling family vacation.  We stayed with my aunt and uncle in Silver Springs for the ten days we were there.  The best part was spending time with them and their two daughters (Sophie-3 years and Lilly- 7 months).  The children had a great time playing with each other, I think my favorite part of the trip was seeing the kids play together so well. It is also very convenient to stay in a house that's already set up for your children! There was everything we could possibly need.

During our stay we attended the pinning ceremony for CCAI Angels in Adoption, the CCAI Gala, toured the Capital Building and visited a lot of local parks with the kids.

Capper's first plane ride

College Park Aviation Museum

The gala was very fancy and well done at the Ronald Reagan Building.  We brought Anellah with us even though it was scheduled to get over well past her bedtime but she did great and had a blast. It was fun to see her interact with so many other people and say, "nice to meet-choo."  There were many inspirational speeches done by politicians, celebrities and first hand stories from adopted children.

Angels in Adoption Gala

National Zoo

"Special Donut for Breakfast" Song

Sandy Point State Park (Annapolis, MD)

Baby fights (Lilly and Capper)

Eating crabs in Annapolis, MD

Resting after a long day at the beach

Two incredibly good looking babies (Capper and Lilly)

Cupcake time with Sophie and Anellah

We had scheduled a White House tour, but the day prior it was rescheduled and didn't end up coordinating with other plans.  We did get a chance to meet up with Anthony Clark, one of Daniel's Mom's cousins.  He was an integral part in getting us in contact with Congresswoman Lee and expediting Anellah's skull surgery along with helping with a few other frustrating issues.  He took us on a top-notch tour of the Capital (including access to restricted areas), transportation to and from and a delicious dinner!  It was a great time!

Capital Tour with Cousin Tony

Capital Tour

Monday came all too soon and it was time for us to fly back home.  Luckily the flight's timing was a little more forgiving.  The kids did great on the plane again.  

We were even all able to take naps on the plane.

It was an entirely great trip.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Capper's Baby Dedication

And while we wait to go to the airport I will share some photos from Capper's baby dedication!
Do all babies love eating paper?

Time for a Trip

Our bags are packed. Most are in the car and one is sitting by the door. In half an hour we'll leave to take our red-eye flight to Washington, DC. Taking a red-eye with kids is either going to be a great idea (they'll sleep) or a terrible idea (they'll keep everyone else from sleeping). Hoping it'll be the former!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Week of School

I'm pretty sure most parents of kids in preschool/school were wondering where their babies went. I was, but also I was wondering what my baby girl was like. No I'm not complaining that we don't know much about her first 15 months of life, I'm lamenting that I have very few memories of the little one who came to live with us over two years ago. I remember snap shots but so much is hazy. I listen to Capper grumbling away and think, "Wow, for the first year Anellah lived with us she pretty much didn't talk." It's hard to imagine her not talking at this point. I see photos like these and remember how much of a BABY she really was.

Now she's my big girl, or, as she refers to herself, my "little lady." This week she started a new school year. The beginning of the year had bumps and hiccups along the way as everything always seems to with her but I think they're worked out now.
"Doing work" after her first day of preschool.
Yes, her shirt is on backwards, she dressed herself.
And as far as the real baby of the house, he's growing like crazy too! Again, it's hard to imagine him just 7 1/2 months ago as a tiny little infant who just ate, slept, and made dirty diapers 24 hours/day. Now he has a STRONG personality (he knows what he wants and he better get it or your ears will be sorry). He nurses less and when eating solids feeds himself independently (not without a mess of course). And he can sit up like a strong little man. He still hasn't worked on crawling, and fortunately we don't have any teeth showing yet (though every once in awhile I think they try to make an appearance and then go back into hiding). His night time sleeping is getting longer and longer which is very encouraging and relieving!

 And as far as today is concerned, I've called for a "cozy day." I am pretty happy that the weather is even overcast! We're all in pajamas or cozy clothes and I think we may not even leave the house.

Anellah in her PJ's with her beloved clown nose!
On Friday we are leaving to go to Washington, DC. We'll be staying with my Aunt and Uncle who have two girls Anellah and Capper's ages. We've been honored to be chosen by Congresswoman Barbara Lee's office as this year's Angel in Adoption so we will be attending parts of that conference. Who knows, maybe we'll meet someone famous!