Tag Archives: siblings

Room Switcheroo (part 1)

We’re moving Graham into the girls’ room, and he’s gaining Lewis as a roommate. It’s basically Christmas over here. Graham’s been wanting to share a room with a brother since Bess was 3 days old. It dawned on him that she and Adelaide would be together, and he would be alone. 

Since Lewis has almost outgrown his bassinet, and Adelaide has outgrown her crib, we decided it was time to get our room situation figured out. It was actually my mom who recommended switching the kids’ rooms. She knew Dave was designing and building a loft/bunk/trundle special needs gated bed for Adelaide and Bess. “Why not move the rooms? The girls’ bed will take up less space, so they can be in the smaller room. Since Lewis is taking Bess’ old crib, it just stays where it is!” Perfect!

Even though Dave is still working on the bed, I decided to start switching the rooms. I don’t have the space to pull stuff out, sort, purge, and put it into the correct room. So I’ve been winging it by moving everything around, creating piles, and trying to make a bit of progress everyday. 

Enter Graham and Bess. Who started throwing stuff. Literally. They misinterpreted my piles. It became a free-for-all. I lost control of the situation quickly when Lewis needed to nurse. Then Lewis had a growth spurt and all progress stopped. 

So now I’m trying to move furniture, purge, and clean up my helpers’ mess. They really did think they were aiding me in this monumental task. By creating Mt. Everest in each room. 

I’m trying not to stress about this…which is what women say when they are stressing about it…but I know it will all be done before Adelaide goes to school in the fall. 

I also moved her crib, diapers, and rocker into her new room so she can get used to her new space. Our kids have never lived in other rooms. So I didn’t want her to get a new room and a new bed at the same time. 

She’s had 4 naps and 3 nights in her new room. She seems to be sleeping well. 

“Adelaide, do you like your new room?” 

She may not be verbal, but she can still communicate. 

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Adelaide Draws A Triangle

“Mama, Adelaide drew a triangle! You gotta see dis!”


Adelaide’s first scribble! She always eats crayons, pencils, pens, markers, paintbrushes, chalk, and this Bubble Guppies magnetic pen.

But today, she scribbled! And it’s beautiful!

Even though her triangle was coincidental, Graham is convinced Adelaide would call this drawing “Adelaide Draws A Triangle” and made sure my photo of it was nice enough to show Daddy.

He’s now ‘teaching’ her to draw Quack the duck.


She seems a tad distracted by the tv. Just a tad…


She still gets an A for being adorable. And he definitely gets an A for being an awesome big brother.

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Joy In Friendship

I have been up all night with Adelaide, who is sick. She just has a cold. But she keeps gagging on her sinus drainage, which leads to vomiting, which leads to choking on vomit. So I am camped out on her floor. I can’t give her anything for her cold, because she has allergic reactions to fever reducers and pain medications with her seizure meds. She is up laughing in between her fits. Trying to wake up Bess. Who is also sick and somehow sleeping it off.

But Graham is in the next room. His nose hurts, because he will.not.stop.wiping.it. He never stops. So a simple cold for him turns into a Broadway production. He is checking his nose in the mirror. Asking for medicine for it. Crying about his nose. Yelling at me for caring too much or too little about his current nasal situation. I can’t win. And as I am keeping Adelaide from a repeat performance of her almost dying, I am dealing with him.

Did I forget to tell you that Adelaide could’ve died a couple weeks back? I was up thinking about stuff. A very important motions hearing. And I hear a cough. Then a gargle. And then a gurgle. I jump out of bed, race into the nursery, and find my nightmare. Adelaide is on her back. Not even trying to roll. Mouth full of vomit. Choking. All around her mouth is blue already. I flip her over. Sweeping my pinky finger through her mouth. Clearing it out. And she gasps for air.

At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a seizure. Now that she has almost done it several dozen times in one night, I know it wasn’t a seizure. She had coughed, then gagged, then vomited, then choked on her vomit.

I don’t know how people emotionally and physically survive with medically fragile children. Because one night of being up on breathing watch has exhausted me. We have friends whose son requires one of them or a nurse at all times. Can’t be left alone for a second. His trach monitor is really the back up to a human watching over him. And I can’t even fathom how hard it is to have a child with C.H.A.R.G.E. They are always in this mode. Nate is hospitalized all the time for things I have never experienced.

We both have three kids. We both have ornery and into everything baby girls. But our lives are so very different. And Maggie doesn’t complain. She doesn’t have a blog where she gets all her feelings and experiences out about their situation. No, her Facebook is full of her smiling in the ER. Smiling in the ICU. Giggling at the doctor’s office. Laughing in a therapy session. Smiling with a specialist. Smiles. Smiles. Smiles. And they’re not fake or forced. She is genuinely a joyful, optimistic person.

And I am over here getting a tiny drop of  in my bucket of what she and her husband go through day after day. And I am going to turn into a grizzly bear if I don’t get some sleep or some coffee. I feel like Maggie is Adelaide and I am Graham. She is doing this whole parenting thing with strength, grace, and laughter. I am crying about a runny nose. And lost sleep. And if I can’t find a kleenex, you are going to hear about it on two forms of social media.

I truly believe that God places people in our circles on purpose. He gave me my kids. He told Maggie to go to Nate in the NICU and adopt him. We became friends through someone saying, “You two should be friends! You have so much in common. You can be there for one another.” But I believe that God is using our friendship to teach me sacrifice. And joy in all circumstances. Because I want to be authentic about my feelings, but I also want my authentic feelings to be more like a grown-up’s and less like a whiny child’s.

I know we are different people walking very different paths, but I refuse to lose this opportunity to learn from a fellow mom in the special needs trenches. Two women states away. One learning from the other.

As I write this, Adelaide has almost choked 15 times. And each time, I pause to pray for Maggie and Nate. He may have a night nurse tonight so she can sleep. Not sure. Because she won’t even say. She never does. But she always tells me that she is praying for Adelaide. Praying for us to have a joyful day. And I am so grateful that God placed her in my circle. But I also want a shower and a hot cup of Gold Coast and five minutes to myself. I have so very much to learn.


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Grahamism: The Guessing Game

“I am a bird with two webbed feet, a beak, two wings, and I say QUACK! What am I?”

“A duck. Now it mine turn. So don’t inta-wupt me and wait til I’ms all done to answer. Ok? I am a fing wif one hundwed wings and 8 legs and a face. What am I?”

“Hmmmm…a spider from your imagination?”

“No, a fly dat got two extwa legs and a lot of extwa wings but a normal face. Yous not very good, but we can get pwactice to make you better. I gots 4 legs, fur like hair but diff-went, and I am silly.”

“A dog?”

“No. I weally suh-pwised you didn’t say cat. It was so easy dis time. I am a black fing dat goes in a wall and holds up a piece of wood and you won’t guess me.”

“A screw.”

“Scwews aren’t black. Dere was no answer. You weally need to not guess if da answer isn’t even weal. Scwews are like silver. I am a fing dat is silver and goes in a circle and builds fings together.”

“A screw!”

“You win! Here is a pwetend gumball. I made da last one easy cuz you was losing too much. When Bess gets big, I will teach her. She gonna be mine best fwiend.”

I believe it. She is sitting at the gate waiting for you to wake up and play.


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Grahamism: Itty Bitty Cheese

All three kids have colds. Not a huge deal, but Adelaide doesn’t handle sickness in the same way. The drainage makes her choke. She aspirates and is at risk for pneumonia and upper respiratory infections. She doesn’t understand how to blow her nose. She can’t take any symptom relievers, because they will interact with her seizure meds. We know, because we accidentally gave her one back in Spring 2014 and she had a reaction. We have been giving her albuterol treatments. The poor girl is exhausted.

This morning, Graham went into the kitchen and used a butter knife to cut off a chunk of cheese for Adelaide. Then, he cut it into tiny pieces as he talked in a baby voice to the cheese. “You are itty bitty cheese for mine Adelaide. She will fink you are yummy.”

The sweetest. I was holding back tears.

And do we think about how he was slicing cheese while holding a wad of snotty toilet paper in one hand? No. No, we do not.


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“Because who is perfect?” {This video. Just this…}

Tomorrow, we travel more than 7 hours for Adelaide’s pediatric neurology appointment. Some days, I forget all of Adelaide’s limitations and unknowns. Other days, it is thrown in my face at every turn. As I was sitting in our living room nursing our ‘typically developing’ Bess, my heart was just hurting. Bess is meeting new milestones every day. Today, she put her feet in her mouth. She and her big sister share socks.

Adelaide has the feet of a 6-month-old. And the height of a 12-month-old. And the head of a two-year-old. And the brain of no one else. We have yet to find anyone with her same brain structure and abnormalities. We have spoken with thousands of parents in a dozen countries. And I was wrestling with that fact, while still trying to embrace the truth: no one is perfect. We live in a fallen world. Not one person has a perfect brain. Or perfect feet. Or a perfect mom. It’s okay to be a mom who hurts and grieves and wonders and hopes and rejoices. And who experiences those things all in the same day. Or the same hour.

And I watched this six times and bawled.

I would love to see a mannequin of Adelaide. It would be a beautiful moment to see her stand.



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Wordless Wednesday {from voting to cloth}

{3 gifts *government*}



We voted. In the pouring rain. And it was a privilege to do so.

{3 gifts *acorn small*}


first *non-pureed broccoli* {and look at those matching bows}

First homemade jalapeno slicer from the latest batch.

first *homemade jalapeno slicer* from the latest batch


first decaf espresso roast *whole bean* coffee with pumpkin spice creamer of the season {a gift from my husband} {mug stolen from my father-in-law}

{a gift *gathered*}

autumnal family photos, pumpkins, & leaves…


{a gift *good*}


homemade blankets from a friend

{a gift *given*}


first unbleached prefold


first thirsties cover


first bummis cover


swaddlebees pocket

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Bess Meets Family & Adele Learns New Words {mommy bliss…}

Yesterday, Elizabeth Mae met her Uncle Micah and Aunt Kelsi…via Skype. {They are serving as missionaries in Cambodia. You should follow their blog. It is all kinds of wonderful.}




Bess has been smiling for a few days now. We know it isn’t her ‘official social smile’ but it is gorgeous.


Adelaide also said, “Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye.” to them when our Skype date was nearing an end. I was ecstatic.


PS: Since we are on the topic of speech, here is a Facebook status from October 6th…

“Ank Ooo!”

Adelaide said FOUR new words this weekend! {yogurt, Daisy (Papa & Gma’s dog), down, & thank you}

PPS: A Facebook status from October 4th…

“Anks!” Adelaide thanked Mema for a toy!

PPPS: A Facebook status from October 3rd…

“UN-ry!” Adelaide told her Mema that she was hungry!

PPPPS: A Facebook status from September 28th…

“TUR-ULL! TUR-ULL!” Adelaide held up that turtle bath toy with pride.

{Editor’s Note: Dave informed me later that night that Adelaide also said, “Line!” for lion. She loves those bath toys!}

PPPPPS: Another Facebook status from September 28th…about September 27th…about my amazing daughters…

Friday evening, I was holding Elizabeth Mae. Then Dave placed Adelaide right next to us on the couch. I was already soaking up the loveliness of holding both my girls when Adelaide touched Bess and said, “Bay-eeee! Bay-eeee!” Adelaide said BABY! So blessed.

PPPPPPS: A Facebook status from September 26th…

Me: “Adelaide, do you want more to eat or do you want milk?”
Adelaide: “E! E! E!” {while signing ‘eat please’}

PPPPPPPS: A Facebook status update from September 12th…

We are praising God for a speech milestone! Adelaide just said ‘IT IT’ while signing ‘eat’… {heart}

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Welcome, Elizabeth Mae


It’s time.


She’s finally here.


Our newest addition


Elizabeth Mae

125Bess & Mommy


Adelaide, meet your new Baby Sister.


Proud Grandmas


Uncle Hosea & Taylor


Precious Bundle


Bess & Daddy


Uncle Greg & Aunt Leslie


First Bow

173180172Full & contented baby


Daddy & Bess Snuggle Time


Adelaide & Elizabeth

Sweet Sisters



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