Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Everyone's thinking of the new and the old.  Remembering 2013 and where they were a year ago and what they want to accomplish for the upcoming new year.  Well, most people.

Last year at this time as a monumental event.  We got our P.A. - our pre-approval.  Our daughter was locked-in and we could announce officially to everyone we had a daughter!  I was on cloud 9!  

I remember going to a party that night with BIG news and excited to share!  It was so awesome!  I couldn't wait for 2013 to start!

Now, I'll be taking my daughter to the party!  I'm sure it will be different... I don't think we'll be staying up to midnight this year... and I'm totally happy not to, to tuck my girl back in bed at home.

Today is also very special because my BFF just gave birth to her son!  Mr. S is roughly (conversion remember) 20 inches and 9 pounds!  He was born 8:45 am.  I can't wait to see photos!

Here are the highlights of 2013...

January - Sending of her care package     
                L.O.A. - letter of acceptance       

February - Finding Ad                                  
             An update on my daughter          

March - Adoption/Travel Shower          
Travel Approval           

April - In China                               
Visit Great Wall           
GOTCHA DAY!!!!           
Orphanage visit            
Safari Park                   
Hong Kong Disney         

May - First haircut                         
Family visit                  

June - Dragon boat festival               
Daycare fire                 
Star Wars exhibit          

July - 4th of July                                
Grandma's 90th                 

August - The beach                                    
Mommy & me dance          

September - Mid-Autumn festival                            
Pumpkin patch                  

October - Ren-Faire                                       
Daycare trunk or treat        
Ashton's 2nd birthday        
Birthday Party                   
Silly safari                        

November - Halloween                                         

December - First snow                                          
My birthday song                
Christmas at Grandma's      
Christmas eve                    

2013 was so good to me.  I hate to see it go... but I know 2014 will have lots of wonderful things in store.  I can't wait to share them with my family and friends.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Big Day Tomorrow

For Mr. S that is...

Tomorrow my BFF in Finland (and Ashton's Godmother) will give birth to her second child.  Mr. S will be a New Year's Eve baby!  Ms. S his older sister will only be 3 and a half weeks away from sharing his birthday!  

These are important people whom Ashton has yet to meet, but will be forever inter-weaved in each others' futures.  I pray that your delivery goes well and all is healthy and happy!  Wish we were all there to welcome your baby to the new life and new year!
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ashton's First Christmas

Ashton woke up ready to start the day.  We went to her 2 nativity calendars and Ashton got to put up her baby Jesus.

She placed all the pieces herself... Joseph ended up in the middle, and a lot of the pieces were close to the bottom or "outside" the borders, but Jesus had a sweet spot to the left.  She was very particular where each piece went.

We then went down to open gifts.  Ashton didn't care about the gifts ahead, just the present she would have currently and play with it for 20 minutes... it took forever to get her to open any presents, as she was content with what she had.  Wonderful outlook, but it took over 3 hours to open gifts!!!

We skyped with our friends from Finland.  Ms. M is scheduled for a c-section on New Year's Eve.  Mr. S will join this world very soon!!! We spoke for a long time and the girls had fun pointing at each other.

I don't want to dwell on gifts, as that's not the reason for the seaon.  But I will mention one gift that I think Ashton truly adored.  She got a fox named Red from Build-a-Bear.  She loves her.  Now she had Fox and Red.  Fox is the baby and Red is the mommy.  She loves them to pieces.  I think Ashton has a new BFF.

Grandma, my brother and Mom came by in the afternoon.  We had the famous pounded steak and noodles.  It was so good!  

We also had a birthday cake for Jesus.  We added the Little People Jesus as a topper from her nativity set.  It was cute!  Se lit a candle and sang happy birthday and all had some cake.  Ashton really loved the Jesus birthday cake!

We all were SO EXHAUSTED by the end of the day.  Ashton may not have wanted a nap, but we all did.

I don't know how I got the energy to go to work this morning!  Next year I'm so taking the next day off!
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ashton's 1st Christmas Eve

We got some fun socks to cover Ashton's cast.  Now she's a cute toting Christmas girl.

She's walking so well in her cast.  

We got to the in-laws and Ashton has a cousin who is 5 months older than her.  Mr. K.  And they had some fun together.

Ashton got a fun animal puzzle that they worked on together.  Ashton also got a HUGE train set (Ashton loves choo choo trains, as she calls them) from Pop and Mr. K got a electric Thomas the Train.  The two had fun together with that.

She ate some carrots and strawberries that Mr. K shared.  It was fun to see her try new food.  I tried strawberries with her last week and she said no, but someone her age shares, why not?

We put out cookies and milk for Santa.  Ashton didn't understand why she couldn't eat his cookies.  I mean he wasn't even there yet!

Ashton was very restless tonight.  I think the cast has made her anxious.  She didn't nap today either.  Hopefully, she'll sleep through the night and be all bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow.
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Christmas Eve Casting

Definitely a memorable Christmas.

Today we went to Peyton Manning's Children's hospital to see what they wanted to do with Ashton's leg.  She walked on it with a limp and they were so surprised how well she was doing, saying she shouldn't be walking.

They would put her in a boot as she's obviously not in any real pain, to be sure it's protected, but a two year old would just rip it off.  Especially, this girl who loves taking shoes and socks off all the time.

So they decided to cast it.

After they wrapped the first one (before the cast), Ashton pushed out her other leg for them to wrap.  We chose a red cast for her.  We could have chosen green with little Santas on them for her, but with Christmas tomorrow, we didn't want her wearing Santas in January.  But if they had reindeer, we would have done it.  She's crazy about her reindeer.

She started fussing and crying when they had to press on the sole of the cast, to make the bottom flat for her to walk.

They told us that kids are usually wary of the cast and may not walk on it for 3 days or so.  

We were also told:
1) Keep a sock on it at all times, it will scratch wooden floors and her toes are exposed and should remain warm

2) It could itch, and she may jam pencils, spoons, anything up there, so keep a close eye.  By keeping a sock on, it helps alleviate that problem.

3) It can be submersed in water, but all that dirtiness, always rinse it will clean water inside out after any bath to keep clean.

4) Watch when changing diapers or holding her.  You can get a black eye or broken nose if she swings her leg.

5) Keep a boot or anything with a high sole on the other foot for balance.  Don't let her walk around barefoot.

We left to Kohls immediately to buy some socks for her cast.  She wanted to walk and not be held.  She did beautifully.  She walked VERY slowly, and not always holding our hand.   3 days for kids to get used to it?  Wow, Ashton only took half an hour!

They said she only had to wear it for 2 weeks.  We scheduled an appointment and the earliest they had was January 15th.  So it's coming off in 3 weeks.

We're spending Christmas at the in-laws tonight.  It will be interesting how Mr. K, her cousin will respond to her cast.  I'm sure she'll get extra spoiling these next two days!
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Ortho Appointment

Ashton was supposed to go to the ortho-hospital to find out from her x-rays if she's to have a walking cast, a boot, or nothing.  However, they're so busy, we will be going tomorrow morning instead.

Not the way I wanted to start out Christmas Eve, but regardless, a priority.  I'm just grateful we can do this for her and that she is getting the care needed.  Anxious for the appointment tomorrow!
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas at Grandma's

Today was our family Christmas at my Grandmother's house.

All her great-granddaughters were there.  (She has no great-grandsons.) As well as her grandkids, and her children.  We all hadn't been there all together in a long time.  Mainly, because my brother lives in Hawaii!

But we were all here together this year.

We all ate and gathered around the tree for any personal gifts.  Ashton got a Minnie Mouse Christmas Bowtique doll from Lau Lau, a glass, farm animals plate and cup set from my Godmother, and 1001 Pirate things to find book from her cousins!  I think the girls will have lots of fun growing up together.

Then came dirty bingo or white elephant.  However, you like to call it.  Usually you loose out, but this year we did pretty well.

Then it was picture time of all the great-granddaughters.  MJ is the same height as Ashton, and 10 months younger.  They took "turns" playing with MJ's toy doggie and Ashton's toy fox.  Ms E (in the red dress) is totally smitten with Ashton as always; and other Ms E (in black) read 'Llama Llama Holiday Drama' to Ashton.  It was so sweet!

When taking a photo of children this young, it's like herding cats, so this is a great photo!  They all actually "posed" for about 10 seconds!  WE even got Grandma in the photo... in the corner.

Everyone seemed to have a great time.  Ashton loved the fudge the best.  Her and food!

My brother seems taken with Ashton, why wouldn't he be?

Next Christmas is with my in-laws on Christmas Eve.  Just one workday away!

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas in a Cup

Now that the weekend is here, we were able to take Ashton to the pediatrician to get a script to get an x-ray done to see why she wasn't healing up as fast as we had hoped.

Ashton was in great spirits, but she was terrified when it came to x-ray time.  Both of us, her parents, were with her, but the large x-ray machine, wearing the heavy padding, having a weighted bag on her leg, all of it was very scary.  She screamed but we were holding her and it did no good. 

Finally, we bribed her and she quieted some with the promise of a hot chocolate afterwards.  We were able to get very good shots of her leg, ankle, and foot.

The pediatrician called about an hour and a half later to give us the results.  She has a fracture in her tibia, but not all the way through.

Since, next week there is no daycare and my husband had vacation days, he took it off with her.  Therefore, on Monday he will be able to go to the pediatrician to see if she will progress as is, get a cast, or get a boot.

Ashton loved her hot chocolate with EXTRA whipped cream!

She even helped drink some of mine! 

Later, we went out to dinner with family.  She entertained us all.  Ashton had a great time and even got a plate of whipped cream!  I think today, though started off scary for her, ended on a good note.  
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Friday, December 20, 2013


Today is a VERY important day.  Today is the anniversary of our referral.  We've known about our daughter for a year!  I can't believe it.  I saw her face for the first time a year ago today.  It seems not so long ago, yet forever ago...  I feel like she's been part of our lives forever... not knowing her... do I even remember who I was before her?  

That day was so sad for me, being told I'd wait another 14 months... then to come home and happen upon her file... it was so surreal.  It was a crazy night, one I will NEVER forget.  Indiana got its first snow that night as we looked at her file, as if God made it so reaffirming that our lives had changed for the better.

I always thought I'd get a referral call.  I would have placed money on it.  I never thought I would chance on her file online.  I found our child on my agency's website, because her special needs didn't match up to ANYONE's medical checklist.  Not even ours.  She was just waiting there for someone to claim her as family.  She may have been up for 3 or so hours, I think.  She could have been snatched or someone could have asked to see her file in that time.  Yet, there she was waiting for me to find her.  I was the first to ask.

A year later, we have a daughter that I always fantasized about.  She loves our furbabies.  She's crazy about us, and loves to laugh, be girly-girl and tomboy.  She loves to sing, loves to hear music, loves to play with blocks, read books, loves to eat, hates to sleep, loves to take baths, loves being chased, and loves her family.  She's silly and smart and astounds me every day.  She's a miracle.

We are blessed beyond measure to have her in our lives.  She was worth all of it - the wait, the paperwork, the craziness of it all.

Today marks a VERY special occasion.  And what did we do on such a special day?

Today we went down to the courthouse and readopted our daughter!!

Right before we left going downtown.

She is now "over-officially" ours.  Unless we do a blood ceremony, she can't be anymore ours.  She was a trooper during the whole thing.  Just lots of paperwork and waiting.  Compared to everything we've done prior to this, this was a breeze, easy, no sweat!

Right outside the building after the readoption.

Then we got home to our Referral-versary and readoption party.  Ashton was ready for her guests.

We had a good time.  Ashton even enjoyed the family tradition of the Christmas Game... well, she enjoyed the rolling of the dice.  She squealed every time they rolled.

What a great day to celebrate the amazing night one year ago!!
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